“Automatically Complementing Protocol Specifications From Network Traces”
in 13th European Workshop on Dependable Computing, May 2011.
Abstract: Network servers can be tested for correctness by resorting to a specification of the implemented protocol. However, producing a protocol specification can be a time consuming task. In addition, protocols are constantly evolving with new functionality and message formats that render the previously defined specifications incomplete or deprecated. This paper presents a methodology to automatically complement an existing specification with extensions to the protocol by analyzing the contents of the messages in network traces. The approach can be used on top of existing protocol reverse engineering techniques allowing it to be applied to both open and closed protocols. This approach also has the advantage of capturing unpublished or undocumented features automatically, thus obtaining a more complete and realistic specification of the implemented protocol. The proposed solution was evaluated with a prototype tool that was able to complement an IETF protocol (FTP) specification with several extensions extracted from traffic data collected in 320 public servers.
Research line(s): Fault And Intrusion Tolerance in Open Distributed Systems (FIT)