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 extensions and mods

To many average users, dealing with C code is often very hard, time-consuming, and ultimately, not productive. Nonetheless, the emergence of executing some custom firmware and understanding its structure while running (that is, dynamic analysis) arose when the IoT era began. Indeed, it has become very difficult to debug code running into an embedded device such as a router or a baseband chip inside a mobile phone. Luckily, researchers, both in industry and academia, have developed very powerful frameworks to help experts use QEMU as an abstraction layer, without dealing much with its internals, and to analyze what is running through the firmware code by use of a Python interface. This process of decoupling and abstraction is extremely difficult and of course, some knowledge is always required and welcome. Some examples are Avatar and Avatar2, TriForceAFL, and PANDA.

A brief example of Avatar2

It was in 2014 when Jonas Zaddach presented the first version...