RESTler: Automatic Intelligent REST API Fuzzing

MSR-TR-2018-11 |

Published by Microsoft

Cloud services have recently exploded with the advent of powerful cloud-computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Today, most cloud services are accessed through REST APIs, and Swagger is arguably the most popular interface-description language for REST APIs. A Swagger specification describes how to access a cloud service through its REST API (e.g., what requests the service can handle and what responses may be expected).

This paper introduces RESTler, the first automatic intelligent REST API security-testing tool. RESTler analyzes a Swagger specification and generates tests that exercise the corresponding cloud service through its REST API. Each test is defined as a sequence of requests and responses. RESTler generates tests intelligently by (1) inferring dependencies among request types declared in the Swagger specification (e.g., inferring that “a request B should not be executed before a request A” because B takes as an input argument a resource-id returned by A) and by (2) analyzing dynamic feedback from responses observed during prior test executions in order to generate new tests (e.g., learning that “a request C after a request sequence A;B is refused by the service” and therefore avoiding this combination in the future). We show that these two techniques are necessary to thoroughly exercise a service under test while pruning the large search space of possible request sequences. We also discuss the application of RESTler to test GitLab, a large popular open-source self-hosted Git service, and the new bugs that were found.

Publication Downloads

RESTler-Fuzzer

November 16, 2020

RESTler is the first stateful REST API fuzzing tool for automatically testing cloud services through their REST APIs and finding security and reliability bugs in these services.

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REST API Fuzz Testing

November 16, 2020

This self-hosted service developed for Azure, including its orchestration engine and security tools (including MSR's RESTler), enables developers to embed security tooling into their CI/CD workflows.

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