Senior Thesis: Security Analysis of Java Web Applications Using String Constraint Analysis

Published on 3 May 2015

I submitted my undergraduate thesis at the beginning of April, titled “Security Analysis of Java Web Applications Using String Constraint Analysis.” I was advised by Professor Stephen Chong.

Here’s the abstract:

Web applications are exposed to myriad security vulnerabilities related to malicious user string input. In order to detect such vulnerabilities in Java web applications, this project employs string constraint analysis, which approximates the values that a string variable in a program can take on. In string constraint analysis, program analysis generates string constraints – assertions about the relationships between string variables. We design and implement a dataflow analysis for Java programs that generates string constraints and passes those constraints to the CVC4 SMT solver to find a satisfying assignment of string variables. Using example programs, we illustrate the feasibility of the system in detecting certain types of web application vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting.

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