Software Investigate

Finding Bugs in Dynamic Web Applications

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Executive Summary

Web script crashes and malformed dynamically-generated Web pages are common errors, and they seriously impact usability of Web applications. Current tools for Web-page validation cannot handle the dynamically-generated pages that are ubiquitous on today's Internet. In this work, the authors apply a dynamic test generation technique, based on combined concrete and symbolic execution, to the domain of dynamic Web applications. The technique generates tests automatically, uses the tests to detect failures, and minimizes the conditions on the inputs exposing each failure, so that the resulting bug reports are small and useful in finding and fixing the underlying faults. The tool Apollo implements the technique for PHP.

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