Software

Enforcing Alias Analysis for Weakly Typed Languages

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Executive Summary

Static analysis of programs in weakly typed languages such as C and C++ is generally not sound because of possible memory errors due to dangling pointer references, uninitialized pointers, and array bounds overflow. Optimizing compilers can produce unpredictable results when such errors occur, but this is quite undesirable for many tools that aim to analyze security and reliability properties with guarantees of soundness. The authors describe a compilation strategy for standard C programs that guarantees sound semantics for an aggressive inter-procedural pointer analysis (or simpler ones), a call graph, and type information for a subset of memory. These provide the foundation for sophisticated static analyses to be applied to such programs with a guarantee of soundness.

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