Assessing Security Vulnerabilities: An Application of Partial and End-Game Verification and Validation

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Date
2010-04-21
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

Modern software applications are becoming increasingly complex, prompting a need for expandable software security assessment tools. Violable constraints/assumptions presented by Bazaz [1] are expandable and can be modified to fit the changing landscape of software systems. Partial and End-Game Verification, Validation, and Testing (VV&T) strategies utilize the violable constraints/assumptions and are established by this research as viable software security assessment tools.

The application of Partial VV&T to the Horticulture Club Sales Assistant is documented in this work. Development artifacts relevant to Partial VV&T review are identified. Each artifact is reviewed for the presence of constraints/assumptions by translating the constraints/assumptions to target the specific artifact and software system. A constraint/assumption review table and accompanying status nomenclature are presented that support the application of Partial VV&T. Both the constraint/assumption review table and status nomenclature are generic, allowing them to be used in applying Partial VV&T to any software system. Partial VV&T, using the constraint/assumption review table and associated status nomenclature, is able to effectively identify software vulnerabilities.

End-Game VV&T is also applied to the Horticulture Club Sales Assistant. Base test strategies presented by Bazaz [1] are refined to target system specific resources such as user input, database interaction, and network connections. Refined test strategies are used to detect violations of the constraints/assumptions within the Horticulture Club Sales Assistant. End-Game VV&T is able to identify violation of constraints/assumptions, indicating vulnerabilities within the Horticulture Club Sales Assistant. Addressing vulnerabilities identified by Partial and End-Game VV&T will enhance the overall security of a software system.

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Keywords
Access Driven VV&T, Assumptions, Constraints, Assessment, Vulnerabilities, Software Security
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