A symbolic execution framework for JavaScript

Prateek Saxena, Devdatta Akhawe, Steve Hanna, Feng Mao, Stephen McCamant, Dawn Song

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

292 Scopus citations


As AJAX applications gain popularity, client-side JavaScript code is becoming increasingly complex. However, few automated vulnerability analysis tools for JavaScript exist. In this paper, we describe the first system for exploring the execution space of JavaScript code using symbolic execution. To handle JavaScript code's complex use of string operations, we design a new language of string constraints and implement a solver for it. We build an automatic end-to-end tool, Kudzu, and apply it to the problem of finding client-side code injection vulnerabilities. In experiments on 18 live web applications, Kudzu automatically discovers 2 previously unknown vulnerabilities and 9 more that were previously found only with a manually-constructed test suite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2010 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2010 - Proceedings
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2010
Event31st IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2010 - Berkeley/Oakland, CA, United States
Duration: May 16 2010May 18 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
ISSN (Print)1081-6011


Other31st IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBerkeley/Oakland, CA


  • String decision procedures
  • Symbolic execution
  • Web security


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