Fully Automated Functional Fuzzing of Android Apps for Detecting Non-Crashing Logic Bugs


Android apps are GUI-based event-driven software and have become ubiquitous in recent years. Obviously, functional correctness is critical for an app’s success. However, in addition to crash bugs, non-crashing functional bugs (in short as “non-crashing bugs” in this work) like inadvertent function failures, silent user data lost and incorrect display information are prevalent, even in popular, well-tested apps. These non-crashing functional bugs are usually caused by program logic errors and manifest themselves on the graphic user interfaces (GUIs). In practice, such bugs pose significant challenges in effectively detecting them because (1) current practices heavily rely on expensive, small-scale manual validation (the lack of automation); and (2) modern fully automated testing has been limited to crash bugs (the lack of test oracles). This paper fills this gap by introducing independent view fuzzing, a novel, fully automated approach for detecting non-crashing functional bugs in Android apps. Inspired by metamorphic testing, our key insight is to leverage the commonly-held independent view property of Android apps to manufacture property-preserving mutant tests from a set of seed tests that validate certain app properties. The mutated tests help exercise the tested apps under additional, adverse conditions. Any property violations indicate likely functional bugs for further manual confirmation. We have realized our approach as an automated, end-to-end functional fuzzing tool, Genie. Given an app, (1) Genie automatically detects non-crashing bugs without requiring human-provided tests and oracles (thus fully automated); and (2) the detected non-crashing bugs are diverse (thus general and not limited to specific functional properties), which set Genie apart from prior work. We have evaluated Genie on 12 real-world Android apps and successfully uncovered 34 previously unknown non-crashing bugs in their latest releases — all have been confirmed, and 22 have already been fixed. Most of the detected bugs are nontrivial and have escaped developer (and user) testing for at least one year and affected many app releases, thus clearly demonstrating Genie’s effectiveness. According to our analysis, Genie achieves a reasonable true positive rate of 40.9%, while these 34 non-crashing bugs could not be detected by prior fully automated GUI testing tools (as our evaluation confirms). Thus, our work complements and enhances existing manual testing and fully automated testing for crash bugs

In ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications
Jue Wang
Jue Wang

My research interests include program analisys, program testing, and Android app quality assurance.