Write a Blog >>
ICSE 2023
Sun 14 - Sat 20 May 2023 Melbourne, Australia

Java (de)serialization is prone to causing security-critical vulnerabilities that attackers can invoke existing methods (gadgets) in an application’s scope to construct a gadget chain to perform malicious behaviors. Several techniques have been proposed to statically identify suspicious gadget chains and dynamically generate injection objects for fuzzing. However, due to their incomplete support for dynamic program features (e.g., Java runtime polymorphism) and ineffective injection object generation for fuzzing, the existing techniques are still far from satisfactory. In this paper, we first performed an empirical study to investigate the characteristics of Java deserialization vulnerabilities based on our manually collected 86 publicly known gadget chains. The empirical results show that 1) Java deserialization gadgets are usually introduced by abusing runtime polymorphism, which enables attackers to reuse serializable overriding methods; and 2) attackers usually invoke exploitable overriding methods (gadgets) via dynamic binding to generate injection objects for gadget chain construction. Based on our empirical findings, we propose a novel gadget chain mining approach, GCMiner, which captures both explicit and implicit method calls to identify more gadget chains, and adopts an overriding-guided object generation approach to generate valid injection objects for fuzzing. The evaluation results show that GCMiner significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art techniques, and discovers 56 unique gadget chains that cannot be identified by the baseline approaches.