SMARTEST: Effectively hunting vulnerable transaction sequences in smart contracts through language model-guided symbolic execution

Sunbeom So, Seongjoon Hong, Hakjoo Oh

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

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present SMARTEST, a novel symbolic execution technique for effectively hunting vulnerable transaction sequences in smart contracts. Because smart contracts are stateful programs whose states are altered by transactions, diagnosing and understanding nontrivial vulnerabilities requires generating sequences of transactions that demonstrate the flaws. However, finding such vulnerable transaction sequences is challenging as the number of possible combinations of transactions is intractably large. As a result, most existing tools for smart contract analysis use abstractions and merely point out the locations of vulnerabilities, which in turn imposes a steep burden on users of understanding the bugs, or have limited power in generating transaction sequences. In this paper, we aim to overcome this challenge by combining symbolic execution with a language model for vulnerable transaction sequences, so that symbolic execution effectively prioritizes program paths that are likely to reveal vulnerabilities. Experimental results with real-world smart contracts show that SMARTEST significantly outperforms existing tools by finding more vulnerable transaction sequences including critical zero-day vulnerabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 30th USENIX Security Symposium
PublisherUSENIX Association
Pages1361-1378
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781939133243
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event30th USENIX Security Symposium, USENIX Security 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 2021 Aug 112021 Aug 13

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 30th USENIX Security Symposium

Conference

Conference30th USENIX Security Symposium, USENIX Security 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period21/8/1121/8/13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'SMARTEST: Effectively hunting vulnerable transaction sequences in smart contracts through language model-guided symbolic execution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this