CollabFuzz: A Framework for Collaborative Fuzzing


Collaborative Fuzzing


In this cooperative framework, the fuzzers collaborate using a centralized scheduler.


The project consists of three parts: 1) the cooperative framework, 2) a scheduler, and 3) the drivers for the fuzzers. In this framework, the scheduler selects input seeds to be scheduled on different fuzzers, by communicating this over the fuzzer driver. At the same time the centralized scheduler collects newly generated inputs from the fuzzers, and repeats the loop.

Cooperative framework

Communication happens over ZeroMQ. The seeds are send with a message consisting of the fuzzer type ID and the seed (which contains the seed input and an optional conditional to be solved).


The scheduler component selects seed inputs from the global queue, evaluates them, and schedules them to the fuzzers.

Fuzzer drivers

The fuzzer drivers implement the communcation mechanisms with the centralized scheduler. The communication happens over ZeroMQ.

Docker setup

Th easiest way is to setup the framework using docker.

The setup consists of the following components:

  • fuzzer-framework
  • fuzzer-{afl,qsy,aflfast,fairfuzz..}-{target}
  • fuzzer-generic-driver

How to run:

  1. Setup virtualenv
    • virtualenv --python=python3 venv
    • source venv/bin/activate
  2. Build the container docker images (+ install deps):
    • make all
  3. Install the collab_fuzz_xxx tools
    • cd runners && python install
  4. Test run (runs 1 afl instance and collab framework):
    • mkdir myrun && cd myrun && collab_fuzz_compose -f afl --scheduler=enfuzz -- objdump && docker-compose up
    • To run with more fuzzers (2 afl + qsym + fairfuzz + aflfast): collab_fuzz_runner -f afl afl qsym fairfuzz aflfast --scheduler=enfuzz -- who

Alternatively, to avoid the long building times, you can fetch the docker images from a remote repo. For example collab_fuzz_build --remote --pull-reqs to pull all images.

Extra info

The afl__generic_driver runs in a container (fuzzer-generic-driver). This container needs to be privileged and mount /var/run/docker.sock, such that it can control the container of the fuzzer to sync with.

Docker settings

The logs generated by the containers might eat up a lot of space on your machine. To avoid this, edit your daemon.json (typically /etc/docker/daemon.json) to contain something like:

    "log-level":        "error",
    "storage-driver":   "overlay2",
    "log-opts": {
	    "max-size": "512m"

Binutils Quickstart guide

At the moment the LAVA-M and GFT builds are broken. Binutils should still work, though.

Setup virtualenv

* ```virtualenv --python=python3 venv```
* ```source venv/bin/activate```

Build the framework (for now only supports binutils, other builds are broken):

make framework-binutils

Build fuzzer base images:

Remember the AFL/QSYM prerequisites (needed on every reboot):

echo 0 | sudo tee /proc/sys/kernel/yama/ptrace_scope
cd /sys/devices/system/cpu
echo performance | sudo tee cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor

Then build the docker images (we only build AFL for now):

cd docker && make fuzzer-afl

Build helper tools

make tools

You might need to install the collab_fuzz_runner tools in the following way:

cd runner && make collab_fuzz_runner

Build actual targets (for now only build binutils)

collab_fuzz_build -f afl -t objdump

Or to build all of binutils for all fuzzers: collab_fuzz_build -s binutils

Test it all (run objdump with afl)

mkdir tmp_run && cd tmp_run && collab_fuzz_compose -f afl -- objdump

And then try to start the campaign:

docker-compose up --abort-on-container-exit

To clean up the campaign after exiting (i.e., delete the volumes): docker-compose down -v


CollabFuzz was presented at EuroSec 2021. CollabFuzz: A Framework for Collaborative Fuzzing.

Video: available on YouTube


	title = {{CollabFuzz}: {A} {Framework} for {Collaborative} {Fuzzing}},
	booktitle = {{EuroSec}},
	author = {Österlund, Sebastian and Geretto, Elia and Jemmett, Andrea and Güler, Emre and Görz, Philipp and Holz, Thorsten and Giuffrida, Cristiano and Bos, Herbert},
	month = apr,
	year = {2021},

Related work

If you are interested in collaborative fuzzing, also check out our work on how to select the right set of fuzzers to use in a collaborative setting: Cupid: Automatic Fuzzer Selection for Collaborative Fuzzing. Code:

  • Build framework-binutils failing

    Build framework-binutils failing

    Following directions in to give collabFuzz a try.

    Used a plain vagrant init ubuntu/focal64 vbox VM.

    • In the VM, sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y python-virtualenv golang make
    • Added vagrant user to docker group
    • Modified /etc/docker/daemon.json to add the buildkit feature to see if it would make a difference. No difference.
    • Rebooted the VM and re-logged in with vagrant ssh

    make framework-binutils seems to always fails for me.

    (venv) [email protected]:/vagrant$ git log --oneline | head -n1
    8ccab61 Add CUPID link in
    (venv) [email protected]:/vagrant$ make framework-binutils
    DOCKER_BUILDKIT=1 docker build --target=framework-binutils --tag=fuzzer-framework-binutils .
    [+] Building 54.3s (8/45)                                                                            
     => [internal] load build definition from Dockerfile                                            0.0s
     => => transferring dockerfile: 38B                                                             0.0s
     => [internal] load .dockerignore                                                               0.0s
     => => transferring context: 34B                                                                0.0s
     => [internal] load metadata for                                  0.3s
     => [internal] load metadata for                                    0.3s
     => [internal] load build context                                                               0.5s
     => => transferring context: 321.97kB                                                           0.5s
     => [gllvm 1/2] FROM[email protected]:1a7173b5b9a3af3e29a5837e0b2027e1c438  0.0s
     => CACHED [base 1/1] FROM[email protected]:444773966064dcc3c268d8b496e76dbb  0.0s
     => CACHED [gllvm 2/2] RUN go get                              0.0s
     => [runtime  1/10] RUN dnf install -y --refresh zeromq                                        53.9s
     => => # Fedora Modular 31 - x86_64                      3.9 MB/s | 5.2 MB     00:01                
     => => # Fedora Modular 31 - x86_64 - Updates            3.5 MB/s | 4.5 MB     00:01                
     => => # Fedora 31 - x86_64 - Updates                    5.3 MB/s |  27 MB     00:05                
     => => # Fedora 31 - x86_64                              5.2 MB/s |  71 MB     00:13                
     => [base-builder 1/4] RUN dnf install -y --refresh         cmake         clang         file   53.9s
     => => # Fedora Modular 31 - x86_64                      4.1 MB/s | 5.2 MB     00:01                
     => => # Fedora Modular 31 - x86_64 - Updates            4.8 MB/s | 4.5 MB     00:00                
     => => # Fedora 31 - x86_64 - Updates                    5.8 MB/s |  27 MB     00:04                
     => => # Fedora 31 - x86_64                              5.7 MB/s |  71 MB     00:12                
    make: *** [Makefile:13: framework-binutils] Error 137

    What am I doing incorrectly?

    opened by irwincong 3
  • docker pull images failed.

    docker pull images failed.

    (venv) [email protected]:/workspace/collabfuzz$ collab_fuzz_build --remote --pull-reqs remote image Traceback (most recent call last): File "/workspace/collabfuzz/venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/docker-5.0.3-py3.8.egg/docker/api/", line 268, in _raise_for_status response.raise_for_status() File "/workspace/collabfuzz/venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/requests-2.27.1-py3.8.egg/requests/", line 960, in raise_for_status raise HTTPError(http_error_msg, response=self) requests.exceptions.HTTPError: 500 Server Error: Internal Server Error for url: http+docker://localhost/v1.41/images/create?tag=latest&

    During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:

    Traceback (most recent call last): File "/workspace/collabfuzz/venv/bin/collab_fuzz_build", line 11, in load_entry_point('collab-fuzz-runner==0.2', 'console_scripts', 'collab_fuzz_build')() File "/workspace/collabfuzz/venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/collab_fuzz_runner-0.2-py3.8.egg/runner/", line 286, in main File "/workspace/collabfuzz/venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/collab_fuzz_runner-0.2-py3.8.egg/runner/", line 112, in pull_reqs File "/workspace/collabfuzz/venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/collab_fuzz_runner-0.2-py3.8.egg/runner/", line 97, in pull_image File "/workspace/collabfuzz/venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/docker-5.0.3-py3.8.egg/docker/models/", line 444, in pull pull_log = self.client.api.pull( File "/workspace/collabfuzz/venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/docker-5.0.3-py3.8.egg/docker/api/", line 428, in pull self._raise_for_status(response) File "/workspace/collabfuzz/venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/docker-5.0.3-py3.8.egg/docker/api/", line 270, in _raise_for_status raise create_api_error_from_http_exception(e) File "/workspace/collabfuzz/venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/docker-5.0.3-py3.8.egg/docker/", line 31, in create_api_error_from_http_exception raise cls(e, response=response, explanation=explanation) docker.errors.APIError: 500 Server Error for http+docker://localhost/v1.41/images/create?tag=latest& Internal Server Error ("Head "": no basic auth credentials")

    opened by gtt1995 0
  • make tools failed.

    make tools failed.

    Collecting watchdog==0.10.2 Downloading watchdog-0.10.2.tar.gz (95 kB) ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ 95.5/95.5 KB 196.2 kB/s eta 0:00:00 Preparing metadata ( started Preparing metadata ( finished with status 'done' Collecting websocket-client==0.57.0 Downloading websocket_client-0.57.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl (200 kB) ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ 200.9/200.9 KB 126.9 kB/s eta 0:00:00 Requirement already satisfied: setuptools in /usr/local/lib/python3.10/site-packages (from protobuf==3.11.3->-r requirements.txt (line 14)) (58.1.0) Building wheels for collected packages: pathtools, pyzmq, watchdog Building wheel for pathtools ( started Building wheel for pathtools ( finished with status 'done' Created wheel for pathtools: filename=pathtools-0.1.2-py3-none-any.whl size=8806 sha256=958678dcd513c4004a38adea70593ea6e9271eed6d735c9265bbe2e02070fb9b Stored in directory: /root/.cache/pip/wheels/e7/f3/22/152153d6eb222ee7a56ff8617d80ee5207207a8c00a7aab794 Building wheel for pyzmq ( started Building wheel for pyzmq ( still running... Building wheel for pyzmq ( finished with status 'error' error: subprocess-exited-with-error

    × python bdist_wheel did not run successfully. │ exit code: 1 ╰─> [883 lines of output]

    opened by double-blind-paper-data 1
  • Build failing

    Build failing

    Follow your instructions to try collabFuzz, but I ran into this error.

    DOCKER_BUILDKIT=1 docker build --target=framework-binutils --tag=fuzzer-framework-binutils .
    [+] Building 214.4s (39/42)                                                     
     => [internal] load .dockerignore                                          0.0s
     => => transferring context: 34B                                           0.0s
     => [internal] load build definition from Dockerfile                       0.0s
     => => transferring dockerfile: 38B                                        0.0s
     => [internal] load metadata for             3.1s
     => [internal] load metadata for               3.1s
     => CACHED [internal] helper image for file operations                     0.0s
     => [internal] load build context                                          0.2s
     => => transferring context: 321.97kB                                      0.1s
     => [base 1/1] FROM[email protected]:444773966064dcc3c2  0.0s
     => [gllvm 1/2] FROM[email protected]:1a7173b5b9a3af3  0.0s
     => CACHED [gllvm 2/2] RUN go get         0.0s
     => CACHED [base-builder 1/3] RUN dnf install -y --refresh         cmake   0.0s
     => CACHED [base-builder 2/3] RUN useradd -ms /bin/bash coll && chown -R   0.0s
     => CACHED [base-builder 3/3] RUN llvm-config --version > /work/llvm-vers  0.0s
     => CACHED [framework 1/3] RUN dnf install -y --refresh         cargo      0.0s
     => CACHED [framework 2/3] COPY --chown=coll:coll framework /work/collab-  0.0s
     => CANCELED [framework 3/3] RUN cargo install --root ~/.local --locked  211.0s
     => CACHED [llvm-passes 1/4] RUN dnf install -y --refresh         boost    0.0s
     => CACHED [llvm-passes 2/4] RUN curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf --o  0.0s
     => CACHED [llvm-passes 3/4] COPY llvm-passes llvm-passes/                 0.0s
     => CACHED [llvm-passes 4/4] RUN rm -f CMakeCache.txt &&     rustup overr  0.0s
     => CACHED [runtime 1/9] RUN dnf install -y --refresh zeromq               0.0s
     => CACHED [runtime 2/9] RUN mkdir /work                                   0.0s
     => CACHED [runtime 3/9] COPY --from=llvm-passes /work/llvm-passes/build/  0.0s
     => CACHED [runtime 4/9] RUN /work/ --skip-l  0.0s
     => CACHED [runtime 5/9] RUN useradd -ms /bin/bash coll                    0.0s
     => CACHED [runtime 6/9] RUN mkdir /in                                     0.0s
     => CACHED [runtime 7/9] RUN mkdir /data && chown -R coll:coll /data       0.0s
     => CACHED [runtime 8/9] COPY docker/server/ /             0.0s
     => CACHED [runtime 9/9] RUN mkdir analysis_binaries                       0.0s
     => CACHED [binutils-bc 1/5] COPY --from=gllvm /go/bin/gclang /usr/bin/gc  0.0s
     => CACHED [binutils-bc 2/5] COPY --from=gllvm /go/bin/get-bc /usr/bin/ge  0.0s
     => CACHED [binutils-bc 3/5] RUN dnf install -y --refresh texinfo          0.0s
     => CACHED [binutils-bc 4/5] COPY misc/binutils/ buil  0.0s
     => CACHED [binutils-bc 5/5] RUN ./                    0.0s
     => CACHED [binutils 1/6] COPY --from=llvm-passes /work/llvm-passes/build  0.0s
     => CACHED [binutils 2/6] RUN dnf install -y --refresh         boost-stat  0.0s
     => CACHED [binutils 3/6] RUN /work/ --skip-  0.0s
     => CACHED [binutils 4/6] COPY --from=binutils-bc --chown=coll:coll /work  0.0s
     => CACHED [binutils 5/6] COPY misc/binutils/ build_b  0.0s
     => ERROR [binutils 6/6] RUN ./                      210.6s
     > [binutils 6/6] RUN ./
    #36 88.91 /usr/bin/ld: /usr/lib64/ undefined reference to `fmaf'
    #36 88.91 /usr/bin/ld: /usr/lib64/ undefined reference to `fma'
    #36 88.95 clang-9: error: linker command failed with exit code 1 (use -v to see invocation)
    #36 210.4 Completed artifact: addr2line.analysis_binaries/addr2line-static-metrics
    #36 210.4 Completed artifact: addr2line.analysis_binaries/addr2line-bb-reach
    #36 210.4 Command was: clang -Xclang -load -Xclang /usr/lib64/ -Xclang -load -Xclang /usr/lib64/ -Xclang -load -Xclang /usr/lib64/ addr2line.bc -Wl,--whole-archive /usr/lib64/ -Wl,--no-whole-archive /usr/lib/linux/libclang_rt.icount-x86_64.a -ldl -lpthread -lrt -o addr2line.analysis_binaries/addr2line_instr_counter -mllvm -icount-abilist -mllvm /usr/share/icount_wrapper_abilist.txt -pie -fPIC -mllvm -ignore-default-blacklist -mllvm -icount-abilist -mllvm /usr/share/icount_abilist.txt -ldl
    executor failed running [/bin/sh -c ./]: exit code: 1
    Makefile:13: recipe for target 'framework-binutils' failed
    make: *** [framework-binutils] Error 1

    Have you encountered a similar problem? Could you please give me some suggestions?

    opened by diewufeihong 3
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