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CACM
2008

Exterminator: Automatically correcting memory errors with high probability

8 years 12 months ago
Exterminator: Automatically correcting memory errors with high probability
Programs written in C and C++ are susceptible to memory errors, including buffer overflows and dangling pointers. These errors, which can lead to crashes, erroneous execution, and security vulnerabilities, are notoriously costly to repair. Tracking down their location in the source code is difficult, even when the full memory state of the program is available. Once the errors are finally found, fixing them remains challenging: even for critical security-sensitive bugs, the average time between initial reports and the issuance of a patch is nearly one month. We present Exterminator, a system that automatically corrects heap-based memory errors without programmer intervention. Exterminator exploits randomization to pinpoint errors with high precision. From this information, Exterminator derives runtime patches that fix these errors both in current and subsequent executions. In addition, Exterminator enables collaborative bug correction by merging patches generated by multiple users. We ...
Gene Novark, Emery D. Berger, Benjamin G. Zorn
Added 09 Dec 2010
Updated 09 Dec 2010
Type Journal
Year 2008
Where CACM
Authors Gene Novark, Emery D. Berger, Benjamin G. Zorn
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