Book Image

Fuzzing Against the Machine

By : Antonio Nappa, Eduardo Blázquez
Book Image

Fuzzing Against the Machine

By: Antonio Nappa, Eduardo Blázquez

Overview of this book

Emulation and fuzzing are among the many techniques that can be used to improve cybersecurity; however, utilizing these efficiently can be tricky. Fuzzing Against the Machine is your hands-on guide to understanding how these powerful tools and techniques work. Using a variety of real-world use cases and practical examples, this book helps you grasp the fundamental concepts of fuzzing and emulation along with advanced vulnerability research, providing you with the tools and skills needed to find security flaws in your software. The book begins by introducing you to two open source fuzzer engines: QEMU, which allows you to run software for whatever architecture you can think of, and American fuzzy lop (AFL) and its improved version AFL++. You’ll learn to combine these powerful tools to create your own emulation and fuzzing environment and then use it to discover vulnerabilities in various systems, such as iOS, Android, and Samsung's Mobile Baseband software, Shannon. After reading the introductions and setting up your environment, you’ll be able to dive into whichever chapter you want, although the topics gradually become more advanced as the book progresses. By the end of this book, you’ll have gained the skills, knowledge, and practice required to find flaws in any firmware by emulating and fuzzing it with QEMU and several fuzzing engines.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Part 1: Foundations
Part 2: Emulation and Fuzzing
Part 3: Advanced Concepts
Chapter 12: Conclusion and Final Remarks

QEMU emulation

QEMU was originally born as a companion for the Linux kernel, but it has become a multi-platform emulator that allows running almost any kind of code within many kinds of hardware platforms that the emulator can be compiled to.

The source code of QEMU is available online, through the official website, in GitHub, and in many official repositories of the main Linux distros.


QEMU internally works as a dynamic translator; from a high-level view, QEMU receives a binary from one architecture, and its full emulation mode translates it into code for the architecture where it is running. To avoid having a “translator” for each architecture into any other architecture (a problem similar to the famous N jobs and M machines), QEMU separates the translation into two phases, following a common pattern in the world of compiler programs. QEMU contains a translation phase from a target architecture (in our case, ARM) into an IR; this representation is,...