A CPU emulator is a software system that simulates a hardware CPU. Emulators are widely used by computer scientists for various kind of activities (e.g., debugging, profiling, and malware analysis). Although no theoretical limitation prevents developing an emulator that faithfully emulates a physical CPU, writing a fully featured emulator is a very challenging and error prone task. Modern CISC architectures have a very rich instruction set, some instructions lack proper specifications, and others may have undefined effects in corner cases. This article presents a testing methodology specific for CPU emulators, based on fuzzing. The emulator is “stressed” with specially crafted test cases, to verify whether the CPU is properly emulated or not. Improper behaviors of the emulator are detected by running the same test case concurrently on the emulated and on the physical CPUs and by comparing the state of the two after the execution. Differences in the final state testify defects in the code of the emulator. We implemented this methodology in a prototype (named as EmuFuzzer), analyzed five state-of-the-art IA-32 emulators (QEMU, Valgrind, Pin, BOCHS, and JPC), and found several defects in each of them, some of which can prevent proper execution of programs.
|Titolo:||A methodology for testing CPU emulators|
|Parole Chiave:||Automatic test generation; Emulation; Fuzzing; Software testing|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore INF/01 - Informatica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||ott-2013|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1145/2522920.2522922|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|