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2017 32nd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE) (2017)
Urbana, IL, USA
Oct. 30, 2017 to Nov. 3, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5386-3976-4
pp: 342-352
Ulf Kargen , Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
Nahid Shahmehri , Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
ABSTRACT
Program trace alignment is the process of establishing a correspondence between dynamic instruction instances in executions of two semantically similar but syntactically different programs. In this paper we present what is, to the best of our knowledge, the first method capable of aligning realistically long execution traces of real programs. To maximize generality, our method works entirely on the machine code level, i.e. it does not require access to source code. Moreover, the method is based entirely on dynamic analysis, which avoids the many challenges associated with static analysis of binary code, and which additionally makes our approach inherently resilient to e.g. static code obfuscation. Therefore, we believe that our trace alignment method could prove to be a useful aid in many program analysis tasks, such as debugging, reverse-engineering, investigating plagiarism, and malware analysis. We empirically evaluate our method on 11 popular Linux programs, and show that it is capable of producing meaningful alignments in the presence of various code transformations such as optimization or obfuscation, and that it easily scales to traces with tens of millions of instructions.
INDEX TERMS
Optimization, Time series analysis, Syntactics, Concrete, Malware, Semantics, Computer architecture
CITATION

U. Kargen and N. Shahmehri, "Towards robust instruction-level trace alignment of binary code," 2017 32nd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE), Urbana, IL, USA, 2017, pp. 342-352.
doi:10.1109/ASE.2017.8115647
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