WinSharpFuzz (libFuzzer Adaption for Windows .NET)

As part of an internship with ManTech, I had the opportunity to explore various Red team techniques. A little way into the project, I came to discover that fuzzing frameworks for C# code are nearly nonexistent. Traditional fuzzing options such as WinAFL quickly led to complications due to the way that .NET uses JIT compilation. One framework turned out to be a viable solution (SharpFuzz), but its support was limited to .NET Core code (a platform-independant subset of .NET) and only ran on Linux.

So, after expending all possible alternatives, I determined to port over SharpFuzz to introduce compatibility with Windows. This mostly involved introducing Windows equivalents of pipe(3), mmap/shmat and other system calls, as well as refactoring the C# harness framework to be compatible with these modifications. In the end, my intern team was able to get the new fuzzer port (dubbed WinSharpFuzz) up and running, and it became a great asset in searching for program crashes. ManTech was very accomadating with the project, and they granted a request to make WinSharpFuzz an open-source tool :).

Like SharpFuzz, the WinSharpFuzz framework can be used to find undesired exceptions in library functions. In addition, it adds support for mixed-mode .NET assemblies, so it can fuzz any libraries that call native or unsafe code (calls to Marshal or unsafe functions, for instance). These features make it uniquely capable of fuzzing all kinds of Windows .dll assemblies.

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using System;
using SharpFuzz;

namespace TestExample1
{
    public class Program
    {
        public static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            Fuzzer.LibFuzzer.Run(bytes =>
            {
                try
                {
                    // pass input bytes to library method(s) here
                }
                catch (ExampleException)
                {
                    // Catch exceptions that would normally be thrown from methods
                }

                // Uncaught exceptions and full-blown crashes will be reported
            });
        }
    }
}

Find the project here: github.com/nathaniel-bennett/winsharpfuzz

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) Research

As part of researching the ins and outs of the Sender Policy Framework, I experimented with various implementations to look for any inconsistent behavior. The results of this research are forthcoming in a few papers. I’ll write up more about this once the disclosure and remediation process is complete.

SecureDNS

Toward the end of my time working in the Usable Security & Privacy Lab, I began tinkering around with using macros in C as a means of transparently adding functionality into core system functions. The C programming language allows function macros to have the same name as a regular function; the result of doing this is that every instance of that function is replaced at compile time with whatever is defined by the macro. My end goal was to accomplish something similar to the Secure Socket API–where additional functionality (TLS) was added to the sockets API via extra function options–but without the hassle of loading a kernel module.

With this in mind, I implemented a library that adds DNS over TLS to the getaddrinfo function, a commonly-used interface for DNS lookups. I also added support for poll-based nonblocking DNS lookups, a feature desperately needed in C.

The end product is a very minimal addition to the existing API:

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#include <netdb.h> /* Note that netdb can be included--it won't break anything */
#include <securedns.h> /* <-- library included */

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
   struct addrinfo *result;

   struct addrinfo hints = {
       .ai_family = AF_INET6,
       .ai_socktype = SOCK_STREAM,
       .ai_flags = AI_NUMERICSERV | AI_TLS, /* <-- `AI_TLS` added to hints */
   };

   int ret = getaddrinfo("nathanielbennett.com", "443", &hints, &result); 
   /* ^ no change needed for the function call; runs DNS over TLS transparently */
   if (ret != 0)
       exit(1);
   
   /* create socket here, connect to host, and so on */

   return 0;
}

The only changes to the API are the additions of the AI_TLS and AI_NONBLOCKING flags, which can be easily added in the ai_flags field. An existing project could trivially switch over their entire codebase to DNS over TLS by adding this library and inserting a single flag into the appropriate field.

Learn more about it here: https://github.com/nathaniel-bennett/securedns

Secure Socket API Research

The Secure Socket API (SSA) maps the various complex functions of Transport Layer Security (TLS) to the POSIX Sockets API. It does so by using a kernel module (which adds the IPPROTO_TLS protocol to the TCP protocol stack) and a network daemon (which keeps track of TLS state and performs transparent encryption/decryption).

Most of my work was focused on refining and adding functionality to the proof of concept that had been created. While the prototype supported basic TLS operations (hostname validation, some certificate loading and connection-based functions), there were more complex aspects of TLS that needed to be added:

  • Session caching and resumption
  • Certificate revocation checks (OCSP, CRL and OCSP stapling)
  • Certificate transparency validation
  • Various other aspects to certificate validation

I’d have to say my favorite feature to add was certificate revocation–I worked with it until I was able to have all revocation mechanisms working simultaneously (multiple OCSP/CRL queries), with the first authoritative answer being accepted. This boosted the speed of connection negotiation, especially in cases where some of the revocation sources were slow to connect or even unreachable. Server-side OCSP stapling was also a fun challenge.

I also worked quite a bit on the kernel side of the SSA. In particular, I added IPv6/TCP stack support, ported the existing implementation to the most recent Linux kernel version (the Netlink API had changed), and made a few tweaks to ensure that failure states were always properly accounted for.

Learn more about the Secure Socket API here: https://owntrust.org/ssa

FamilyMap

Built a fully-functional family history Android app and backend Java server as a project for one of my university classes. Used a straightforward REST API, with SQLite as the database. It was good experience for learning all about app development, Google Maps API use and SQL input sanitization :).