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MOPS: an Infrastructure for Examining Security Properties of Software
 In Proceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
, 2002
"... We describe a formal approach for finding bugs in securityrelevant software and verifying their absence. The idea is as follows: we identify rules of safe programming practice, encode them as safety properties, and verify whether these properties are obeyed. Because manual verification is too expen ..."
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Cited by 195 (7 self)
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We describe a formal approach for finding bugs in securityrelevant software and verifying their absence. The idea is as follows: we identify rules of safe programming practice, encode them as safety properties, and verify whether these properties are obeyed. Because manual verification is too expensive, we have built a program analysis tool to automate this process. Our program analysis models the program to be verified as a pushdown automaton, represents the security property as a finite state automaton, and uses model checking techniques to identify whether any state violating the desired security goal is reachable in the program. The major advantages of this approach are that it is sound in verifying the absence of certain classes of vulnerabilities, that it is fully interprocedural, and that it is efficient and scalable. Experience suggests that this approach will be useful in finding a wide range of security vulnerabilities in large programs efficiently.
Efficient algorithms for model checking pushdown systems
 Proc. of CAV'2000
, 2000
"... We study model checking problems for pushdown systems and linear time logics. We show that the global model checking problem (computing the set of configurations, reachable or not, that violate the formula) can be solved in O(gP 3 ..."
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Cited by 148 (25 self)
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We study model checking problems for pushdown systems and linear time logics. We show that the global model checking problem (computing the set of configurations, reachable or not, that violate the formula) can be solved in O(gP 3
Visibly pushdown languages
, 2004
"... Abstract. We study congruences on words in order to characterize the class of visibly pushdown languages (Vpl), a subclass of contextfree languages. For any language L, we define a natural congruence on words that resembles the syntactic congruence for regular languages, such that this congruence i ..."
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Cited by 134 (15 self)
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Abstract. We study congruences on words in order to characterize the class of visibly pushdown languages (Vpl), a subclass of contextfree languages. For any language L, we define a natural congruence on words that resembles the syntactic congruence for regular languages, such that this congruence is of finite index if, and only if, L is a Vpl. We then study the problem of finding canonical minimal deterministic automata for Vpls. Though Vpls in general do not have unique minimal automata, we consider a subclass of VPAs called kmodule singleentry VPAs that correspond to programs with recursive procedures without input parameters, and show that the class of wellmatched Vpls do indeed have unique minimal kmodule singleentry automata. We also give a polynomial time algorithm that minimizes such kmodule singleentry VPAs. 1 Introduction The class of visibly pushdown languages (Vpl), introduced in [1], is a subclassof contextfree languages accepted by pushdown automata in which the input letter determines the type of operation permitted on the stack. Visibly pushdown languages are closed under all boolean operations, and problems such as inclusion, that are undecidable for contextfree languages, are decidable for Vpl. Vpls are relevant to several applications that use contextfree languages suchas the modelchecking of software programs using their pushdown models [13]. Recent work has shown applications in other contexts: in modeling semanticsof effects in processing XML streams [4], in game semantics for programming languages [5], and in identifying larger classes of pushdown specifications thatadmit decidable problems for infinite games on pushdown graphs [6].
A BDDbased Model Checker for Recursive Programs
 In Proc. CAVâ€™01, LNCS 2102
, 2001
"... We present a modelchecker for boolean programs with (possibly recursive) procedures and the temporal logic LTL. The checker is guaranteed to terminate even for (usually faulty) programs in which the depth of the recursion is not bounded. The algorithm uses automata to finitely represent possibly in ..."
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Cited by 68 (8 self)
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We present a modelchecker for boolean programs with (possibly recursive) procedures and the temporal logic LTL. The checker is guaranteed to terminate even for (usually faulty) programs in which the depth of the recursion is not bounded. The algorithm uses automata to finitely represent possibly in nite sets of stack contents and BDDs to compactly represent nite sets of values of boolean variables. We illustrate the checker on some examples and compare it with the Bebop tool of Ball and Rajamani.
A Temporal Logic of Nested Calls and Returns
, 2004
"... Model checking of linear temporal logic (LTL) speci cations with respect to pushdown systems has been shown to be a useful tool for analysis of programs with potentially recursive procedures. LTL, however, can specify only regular properties, and properties such as correctness of procedures wit ..."
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Cited by 54 (11 self)
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Model checking of linear temporal logic (LTL) speci cations with respect to pushdown systems has been shown to be a useful tool for analysis of programs with potentially recursive procedures. LTL, however, can specify only regular properties, and properties such as correctness of procedures with respect to pre and post conditions, that require matching of calls and returns, are not regular. We introduce a temporal logic of calls and returns (CaRet) for speci cation and algorithmic veri cation of correctness requirements of structured programs. The formulas of CaRet are interpreted over sequences of propositional valuations tagged with special symbols call and ret. Besides the standard global temporal modalities, CaRet admits the abstractnext operator that allows a path to jump from a call to the matching return. This operator can be used to specify a variety of nonregular properties such as partial and total correctness of program blocks with respect to pre and post conditions. The abstract versions of the other temporal modalities can be used to specify regular properties of local paths within a procedure that skip over calls to other procedures. CaRet also admits the caller modality that jumps to the most recent pending call, and such caller modalities allow speci cation of a variety of security properties that involve inspection of the callstack. Even though verifying contextfree properties of pushdown systems is undecidable, we show that model checking CaRet formulas against a pushdown model is decidable. We present a tableau construction that reduces our model checking problem to the emptiness problem for a Buchi pushdown system. The complexity of model checking CaRet formulas is the same as that of checking LTL formulas, namely, ...