Introduction to VirtualBox security research


This article introduces VirtualBox research and explains how to build a coverage-based fuzzer, focusing on the emulated network device drivers. In the examples below, we explain how to create a harness for the non-default network device driver PCNet. The example can be readily adjusted for a different network driver or even different device driver components.

We are aware that there are excellent resources related to this topic - see [1], [2]. However, these cover the fuzzing process from a high-level perspective or omit some important technical details. Our goal is to present all the necessary steps and code required to instrument and debug the latest stable version of VirtualBox (6.1.30 at the time of writing). As the SVN version is out-of-sync, we download the tarball instead.

In our setup, we use Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS. As the VT-x/AMD-V feature is not fully supported for VirtualBox, we use a native host. When using a MacBook, the following guide enables a Linux installation to an external SSD.

VirtualBox uses the kBuild framework for building. As mentioned on their page, only a few (0.5) people on our planet understand it, but editing makefiles should be straightforward. As we will see later, after commenting out hardware-specific components, that’s indeed true.

kmk is a kBuild alternative for the make subsystem. It allows creating debug or release builds, depending on the supplied arguments. The debug build provides a robust logging mechanism, which we will describe next.

Note that in this article, we will use three different builds. The remaining two release builds are for fuzzing and coverage reporting. Because they involve modifying the source code, we use a separate directory for every instance.

Debug Build

The build instructions for Linux are described here. After installing all required dependencies, it’s enough to run the following commands:

$ ./configure --disable-hardening --disable-docs
$ source ./ && kmk KBUILD_TYPE=debug

If successful, the binary VirtualBox from the out/linux.amd64/debug/bin/VirtualBox directory will be created. Before creating our first guest host, we have to compile and load the kernel modules:

$ VERSION=6.1.30
$ vbox_dir=~/VirtualBox-$VERSION-debug/
$ (cd $vbox_dir/out/linux.amd64/debug/bin/src/vboxdrv && sudo make && sudo insmod vboxdrv.ko)
$ (cd $vbox_dir/out/linux.amd64/debug/bin/src/vboxnetflt && sudo make && sudo insmod vboxnetflt.ko)
$ (cd $vbox_dir/out/linux.amd64/debug/bin/src/vboxnetadp && sudo make && sudo insmod vboxnetadp.ko)

VirtualBox defines the VBOXLOGGROUP enum inside include/VBox/log.h, allowing to selectively enable the logging of specific files or functionalities. Unfortunately, since the logging is intended for the debug builds, we could not enable this functionality in the release build without making many cumbersome changes.

Unlike the VirtualBox binary, the VBoxHeadless startup utility located in the same directory allows running the machines directly from the command-line interface. For illustration, we want to enable debugging for both this component and the PCNet network driver. First, we have to identify the entries of the VBOXLOGGROUP. They are defined using the LOG_GROUP_ string near the beginning of the file we wish to trace:

$ grep LOG_GROUP_ src/VBox/Frontends/VBoxHeadless/VBoxHeadless.cpp src/VBox/Devices/Network/DevPCNet.cpp

src/VBox/Frontends/VBoxHeadless/VBoxHeadless.cpp:#define LOG_GROUP LOG_GROUP_GUI
src/VBox/Devices/Network/DevPCNet.cpp:#define LOG_GROUP LOG_GROUP_DEV_PCNET

We redirect the output to the terminal instead of creating log files and specify the Log Group name, using the lowercased string from the grep output and without the prefix:

$ export VBOX_LOG_DEST="nofile stdout"
$ VBOX_LOG="+gui.e.l.f+dev_pcnet.e.l.f.l2" out/linux.amd64/debug/bin/VBoxHeadless -startvm vm-test

The VirtualBox logging facility and the meaning of all parameters are clarified here. The output is easy to grep, and it’s crucial for understanding the internal structures.

AFL instrumentation for afl-clang-fast / afl-clang-fast++

Installing Clang

For Ubuntu, we can follow the official instructions to install the Clang compiler. We used clang-12, because building was not possible with the previous version. Alternatively, clang-13 is supported too. After we are done, it is useful to verify the installation and create symlinks to ensure AFLplusplus will not complain about missing locations:

$ rehash
$ clang --version
$ clang++ --version
$ llvm-config --version
$ llvm-ar --version

$ sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/llvm-config-12 /usr/bin/llvm-config
$ sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/clang++-12 /usr/bin/clang++
$ sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/clang-12 /usr/bin/clang
$ sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/llvm-ar-12 /usr/bin/llvm-ar

Building AFLplusplus (AFL++)

Our fuzzer of choice was AFL++, although everything can be trivially reproduced with libFuzzer too. Since we don’t need the black box instrumentation, it’s enough to include the source-only parts:

$ git clone
$ cd AFLplusplus

# use this revision if the VirtualBox compilation fails
$ git checkout 66ca8618ea3ae1506c96a38ef41b5f04387ab560

$ make source-only
$ sudo make install

Applying patches

To use clang for fuzzing, it’s necessary to create a new template kBuild/tools/AFL.kmk by using the vbox-fuzz/AFL.kmk file, available on

Moreover, we have to fix multiple issues related to undefined symbols or different commentary styles. The most important change is disabling the instrumentation for Ring-0 components (TEMPLATE_VBoxR0_TOOL). Otherwise it’s not possible to boot the guest machine. All these changes are included in the patch files.

Interestingly, when I was investigating the error message I obtained during the failed compilation, I found some recent slides from the HITB conference describing exactly the same issue. This was a confirmation that I was on the right track, and more people were trying the same approach. The slides also mention VBoxHeadless, which was a natural choice for a harness, that we used too.

If the unmodified VirtualBox is located inside the ~/VirtualBox-6.1.30-release-afl directory, we run these commands to apply all necessary patches:

$ TO_PATCH=6.1.30
$ SRC_PATCH=6.1.30
$ cd ~/VirtualBox-$TO_PATCH-release-afl

$ patch -p1 < ~/vbox-fuzz/$SRC_PATCH/Config.patch
$ patch -p1 < ~/vbox-fuzz/$SRC_PATCH/undefined_xfree86.patch
$ patch -p1 < ~/vbox-fuzz/$SRC_PATCH/DevVGA-SVGA3d-glLdr.patch
$ patch -p1 < ~/vbox-fuzz/$SRC_PATCH/VBoxDTraceLibCWrappers.patch
$ patch -p1 < ~/vbox-fuzz/$SRC_PATCH/os_Linux_x86_64.patch

Running kmk without KBUILD_TYPE yields instrumented binaries, where the device drivers are bundled inside shared object. The output from nm confirms the presence of the instrumentation symbols:

$ nm out/linux.amd64/release/bin/ | egrep "afl|sancov"
                 U __afl_area_ptr
                 U __afl_coverage_discard
                 U __afl_coverage_off
                 U __afl_coverage_on
                 U __afl_coverage_skip
000000000033e124 d __afl_selective_coverage
0000000000028030 t sancov.module_ctor_trace_pc_guard
000000000033f5a0 d __start___sancov_guards
000000000036f158 d __stop___sancov_guards

Creating Coverage Reports

First, we have to apply the patches for AFL, described in the previous section. After that, we copy the instrumented version and remove the earlier compiled binaries if they are present:

$ VERSION=6.1.30
$ cp -r ~/VirtualBox-$VERSION-release-afl ~/VirtualBox-$VERSION-release-afl-gcov
$ cd ~/VirtualBox-$VERSION-release-afl-gcov
$ rm -rf out

Now we have to edit the kBuild/tools/AFL.kmk template to append -fprofile-instr-generate -fcoverage-mapping switches as follows:

TOOL_AFL_CC  ?= afl-clang-fast$(HOSTSUFF_EXE)   -m64 -fprofile-instr-generate -fcoverage-mapping
TOOL_AFL_CXX ?= afl-clang-fast++$(HOSTSUFF_EXE) -m64 -fprofile-instr-generate -fcoverage-mapping
TOOL_AFL_AS  ?= afl-clang-fast$(HOSTSUFF_EXE)   -m64 -fprofile-instr-generate -fcoverage-mapping
TOOL_AFL_LD  ?= afl-clang-fast++$(HOSTSUFF_EXE) -m64 -fprofile-instr-generate -fcoverage-mapping

To avoid duplication, we share the src and include folders with the fuzzing build:

$ rm -rf ./src
$ rm -rf ./include

$ ln -s ../VirtualBox-$VERSION-release-afl/src $PWD/src
$ ln -s ../VirtualBox-$VERSION-release-afl/include $PWD/include

Lastly, we expand the list of undefined symbols inside src/VBox/Additions/x11/undefined_xfree86 by adding:


Furthermore, because this build is intended for reporting only, we disable all unnecessary features:

$ ./configure --disable-hardening --disable-docs --disable-java --disable-qt
$ source ./ && kmk

The raw profile is generated by setting LLVM_PROFILE_FILE. For more information, the Clang documentation provides the necessary details.

Writing a harness

Getting pVM

At this point, the VirtualBox drivers are fully instrumented, and the only remaining thing left before we start fuzzing is a harness. The PCNet device driver is defined in src/VBox/Devices/Network/DevPCNet.cpp, and it exports several functions. Our output is truncated to include only R3 components, as these are the ones we are targeting:

 * The device registration structure.
const PDMDEVREG g_DevicePCNet =
    /* .u32Version = */             PDM_DEVREG_VERSION,
    /* .uReserved0 = */             0,
    /* .szName = */                 "pcnet",
    /* .fFlags = */                 PDM_DEVREG_FLAGS_DEFAULT_BITS,
    /* .fClass = */                 PDM_DEVREG_CLASS_NETWORK,
    /* .cMaxInstances = */          ~0U,
    /* .uSharedVersion = */         42,
    /* .cbInstanceShared = */       sizeof(PCNETSTATE),
    /* .cbInstanceCC = */           sizeof(PCNETSTATECC),
    /* .cbInstanceRC = */           sizeof(PCNETSTATERC),
    /* .cMaxPciDevices = */         1,
    /* .cMaxMsixVectors = */        0,
    /* .pszDescription = */         "AMD PCnet Ethernet controller.\n",
#if defined(IN_RING3)
    /* .pszRCMod = */               "VBoxDDRC.rc",
    /* .pszR0Mod = */               "VBoxDDR0.r0",
    /* .pfnConstruct = */           pcnetR3Construct,
    /* .pfnDestruct = */            pcnetR3Destruct,
    /* .pfnRelocate = */            pcnetR3Relocate,
    /* .pfnMemSetup = */            NULL,
    /* .pfnPowerOn = */             NULL,
    /* .pfnReset = */               pcnetR3Reset,
    /* .pfnSuspend = */             pcnetR3Suspend,
    /* .pfnResume = */              NULL,
    /* .pfnAttach = */              pcnetR3Attach,
    /* .pfnDetach = */              pcnetR3Detach,
    /* .pfnQueryInterface = */      NULL,
    /* .pfnInitComplete = */        NULL,
    /* .pfnPowerOff = */            pcnetR3PowerOff,
    /* .pfnSoftReset = */           NULL,
    /* .pfnReserved0 = */           NULL,
    /* .pfnReserved1 = */           NULL,
    /* .pfnReserved2 = */           NULL,
    /* .pfnReserved3 = */           NULL,
    /* .pfnReserved4 = */           NULL,
    /* .pfnReserved5 = */           NULL,
    /* .pfnReserved6 = */           NULL,
    /* .pfnReserved7 = */           NULL,
#elif defined(IN_RING0)
// [ SNIP ]

The most interesting fields are .pfnReset, which resets the driver’s state, and the .pfnReserved functions. The latter ones are currently not used, but we can add our own functions and call them, by modifying the PDM (Pluggable Device Manager) header files. PDM is an abstract interface used to add new virtual devices relatively easily.

But first, if we want to use the modified VboxHeadless, which provides a high-level interface (VirtualBox Main API) to the VirtualBox functionality, we need to find a way to access the pdm structure.

By reading the source code, we can see multiple patterns where pVM (pointer to a VM handle) is dereferenced to traverse a linked list with all device instances:

// src/VBox/VMM/VMMR3/PDMDevice.cpp

for (PPDMDEVINS pDevIns = pVM->pdm.s.pDevInstances; pDevIns; pDevIns = pDevIns->Internal.s.pNextR3)
    // [ SNIP ]

The VirtualBox Main API on non-Windows platforms uses Mozilla XPCOM. So we wanted to find out if we could leverage it to access the low-level structures. After some digging, we found out that indeed it’s possible to retrieve the VM handle via the IMachineDebugger class:

IMachineDebugger VM

With that, the following snippet of code demonstrates how to access pVM:

LONG64 llVM;
HRESULT hrc = machineDebugger->COMGETTER(VM)(&llVM);
PUVM pUVM = (PUVM)(intptr_t)llVM; /* The user mode VM handle */
PVM pVM = pUVM->pVM;

After obtaining the pointer to the VM, we have to change the build scripts again, allowing VboxHeadless to access internal PDM definitions from VBoxHeadless.cpp.

We tried to minimize the amount of changes and after some experimentation, we came up with the following steps:

1) Create a new file called src/VBox/Frontends/Common/harness.h with this content:

/* without this, include/VBox/vmm/pdmtask.h does not import PDMTASKTYPE enum */
#define VBOX_IN_VMM 1

#include "PDMInternal.h"

/* needed by machineDebugger COM VM getter */
#include <VBox/vmm/vm.h>
#include <VBox/vmm/uvm.h>

/* needed by AFL */
#include <unistd.h>

2) Modify the src/VBox/Frontends/VBoxHeadless/VBoxHeadless.cpp file by adding the following code just before the event loop starts, near the end of the file:

            LogRel(("VBoxHeadless: failed to start windows message monitor: %Rrc\n", irc));
#endif /* RT_OS_WINDOWS */

        /* --------------- BEGIN --------------- */
        LONG64 llVM;
        HRESULT hrc = machineDebugger->COMGETTER(VM)(&llVM);
        PUVM pUVM = (PUVM)(intptr_t)llVM; /* The user mode VM handle */
        PVM pVM = pUVM->pVM;

        if (SUCCEEDED(hrc)) {

          PUVM pUVM = (PUVM)(intptr_t)llVM; /* The user mode VM handle */
          PVM pVM = pUVM->pVM;

            for (PPDMDEVINS pDevIns = pVM->pdm.s.pDevInstances; pDevIns; pDevIns = pDevIns->Internal.s.pNextR3) {
                if (!strcmp(pDevIns->pReg->szName, "pcnet")) {

                    unsigned char *buf = __AFL_FUZZ_TESTCASE_BUF;
                    while (__AFL_LOOP(10000))
                        int len = __AFL_FUZZ_TESTCASE_LEN;
                        pDevIns->pReg->pfnAFL(pDevIns, buf, len);

        /* ---------------  END  --------------- */

         * Pump vbox events forever
        LogRel(("VBoxHeadless: starting event loop\n"));
        for (;;)

In the same file after the #include "PasswordInput.h" directive, add:

#include "harness.h"

Finally, append __AFL_FUZZ_INIT(); before defining the TrustedMain function:


 *  Entry point.
extern "C" DECLEXPORT(int) TrustedMain(int argc, char **argv, char **envp)

4) Edit src/VBox/Frontends/VBoxHeadless/Makefile.kmk and change the VBoxHeadless_DEFS and VBoxHeadless_INCS from

VBoxHeadless_INCS      = \


VBoxHeadless_INCS      = \
        ../Common \

Fuzzing With Multiple Inputs

For the network drivers, there are various ways of supplying the user-controlled data by using access I/O port instructions or reading the data from the emulated device via MMIO (PDMDevHlpPhysRead). If this part is unclear, please refer back to [1] in references, which is probably the best available resource for explaining the attack surface. Moreover, many ports or values are restricted to a specific set, and to save some time, we want to use only these values. Therefore, after some consideration for the implementing of our fuzzing framework, we discovered Fuzzed Data Provider (later FDP).

FDP is part of the LLVM and, after we pass it a buffer generated by AFL, it can leverage it to generate a restricted set of numbers, bytes, or enums. We can store the pointer to FDP inside the device driver instance and retrieve it any time we want to feed some buffer.

Recall that we can use the pfnReserved fields to implement our fuzzing helper functions. For this, it’s enough to edit include/VBox/vmm/pdmdev.h and change the PDMDEVREGR3 structure to conform to our prototype:

DECLR3CALLBACKMEMBER(int, pfnAFL, (PPDMDEVINS pDevIns, unsigned char *buf, int len));

All device drivers have a state, which we can access using convenient macro PDMDEVINS_2_DATA. Likewise, we can extend the state structure (in our case PCNETSTATE) to include the FDP header file via a pointer to FDP:

// src/VBox/Devices/Network/DevPCNet.cpp

#ifdef IN_RING3
# include <iprt/mem.h>
# include <iprt/semaphore.h>
# include <iprt/uuid.h>
# include <fuzzer/FuzzedDataProvider.h> /* Add this */

// [ SNIP ]

typedef struct PCNETSTATE
  // [ SNIP ]
    void * fdp; /* Add this */
/** Pointer to a shared PCnet state structure. */

To reflect these changes, the g_DevicePCNet structure has to be updated too :

 * The device registration structure.
const PDMDEVREG g_DevicePCNet =
  // [[ SNIP ]]
  /* .pfnConstruct = */           pcnetR3Construct,
  // [[ SNIP ]]
  /* .pfnReserved0 = */           pcnetR3_AFL,
  /* .pfnReserved1 = */           pcnetR3_GetFDP,

When adding new functions, we must be careful and include them inside R3 only parts. The easiest way is to find the R3 constructor and add new code just after that, as it already has defined the IN_RING3 macro for the conditional compilation.

An example of the PCNet harness:

static DECLCALLBACK(void *) pcnetR3_GetFDP(PPDMDEVINS pDevIns) {
    return pThis->fdp;

static DECLCALLBACK(int) pcnetR3_AFL(PPDMDEVINS pDevIns, unsigned char *buf, int len)
    if (len > 0x2000) {
        return VINF_SUCCESS;

    static unsigned char buf2[0x2000];
    memcpy(buf2, buf, len);
    FuzzedDataProvider provider(buf2, len);


    pThis->fdp = &provider; // Make it accessible for the other modules
    FuzzedDataProvider *pfdp = (FuzzedDataProvider *) pDevIns->pReg->pfnGetFDP(pDevIns);

    void *pvUser = NULL;
    uint32_t u32;
    const std::array<int, 3> Array = {1, 2, 4};
    uint16_t offPort;
    uint16_t cb;



    while (pfdp->remaining_bytes() > 0) {
        auto choice = pfdp->ConsumeIntegralInRange(0, 3);
        offPort = pfdp->ConsumeIntegral<uint16_t>();

        u32 = pfdp->ConsumeIntegral<uint32_t>();
        cb = pfdp->PickValueInArray(Array);

        switch (choice) {
            case 0:
                // pcnetIoPortWrite(PPDMDEVINS pDevIns, void *pvUser, 
                //   RTIOPORT offPort, uint32_t u32, unsigned cb)
                pcnetIoPortWrite(pDevIns, pvUser, offPort, u32, cb);
            case 1:
                // pcnetIoPortAPromWrite(PPDMDEVINS pDevIns, void *pvUser, 
                //   RTIOPORT offPort, uint32_t u32, unsigned cb)
                pcnetIoPortAPromWrite(pDevIns, pvUser, offPort, u32, cb);
            case 2:
                // pcnetR3MmioWrite(PPDMDEVINS pDevIns, void *pvUser,
                //   RTGCPHYS off, void const *pv, unsigned cb)
                pcnetR3MmioWrite(pDevIns, pvUser, offPort, &u32, cb);


    pThis->fdp = NULL;
    return VINF_SUCCESS;

Fuzzing PDMDevHlpPhysRead

As the device driver calls this function multiple times, we decided to patch the wrapper instead of modifying every instance. We can do so by editing src/VBox/VMM/VMMR3/PDMDevHlp.cpp, adding the relevant FDP header, and changing the pdmR3DevHlp_PhysRead method to fuzz only the specific driver.

#include "dtrace/VBoxVMM.h"
#include "PDMInline.h"

#include <fuzzer/FuzzedDataProvider.h> /* Add this */

// [ SNIP ]

/** @interface_method_impl{PDMDEVHLPR3,pfnPhysRead} */
static DECLCALLBACK(int) pdmR3DevHlp_PhysRead(PPDMDEVINS pDevIns, RTGCPHYS GCPhys, void *pvBuf, size_t cbRead)
    PVM pVM = pDevIns->Internal.s.pVMR3;
    LogFlow(("pdmR3DevHlp_PhysRead: caller='%s'/%d: GCPhys=%RGp pvBuf=%p cbRead=%#x\n",
             pDevIns->pReg->szName, pDevIns->iInstance, GCPhys, pvBuf, cbRead));

    /* Change this for the fuzzed driver */
    if (!strcmp(pDevIns->pReg->szName, "pcnet")) {
        FuzzedDataProvider *pfdp = (FuzzedDataProvider *) pDevIns->pReg->pfnGetFDP(pDevIns);
        if (pfdp && pfdp->remaining_bytes() >= cbRead) {
            pfdp->ConsumeData(pvBuf, cbRead);
            return VINF_SUCCESS;

Using out/linux.amd64/release/bin/VBoxNetAdpCtl, we can add our network adapter and start fuzzing in persistent mode. However, even when we can reach more than 10k executions per second, we still have some work to do about the stability.

Improving Stability

Unfortunately, none of these methods described here worked, as we were not able to use LTO instrumentation. We guess that’s because the device drivers module was dynamically loaded, therefore partially disabling instrumentation was not possible nor was possible to identify unstable edges. The instability is caused by not properly resetting the driver’s state, and because we are running the whole VM, there are many things under the hood which are not easy to influence, such as internal locks or VMM.

One of the improvements is already contained in the harness, as we can discard the coverage before we start fuzzing and enable it only for a short fuzzing block.

Additionally, we can disable the instantiation of all devices which we are not currently fuzzing. The relevant code is inside src/VBox/VMM/VMMR3/PDMDevice.cpp, implementing the init completion routine through pdmR3DevInit. For the PCNet driver, at least the pci, VMMDev, and pcnet modules must be enabled. Therefore, we can skip the initialization for the rest.

     * Instantiate the devices.
    for (i = 0; i < cDevs; i++)
        PDMDEVREGR3 const * const pReg = paDevs[i].pDev->pReg;

        // if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "pci")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "ich9pci")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "pcarch")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "pcbios")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "ioapic")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "pckbd")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "piix3ide")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "i8254")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "i8259")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "hpet")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "smc")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "flash")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "efi")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "mc146818")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "vga")) {continue;}
        // if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "VMMDev")) {continue;}
        // if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "pcnet")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "e1000")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "virtio-net")) {continue;}
        // if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "IntNetIP")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "ichac97")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "sb16")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "hda")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "usb-ohci")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "acpi")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "8237A")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "i82078")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "serial")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "oxpcie958uart")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "parallel")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "ahci")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "buslogic")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "pcibridge")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "ich9pcibridge")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "lsilogicscsi")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "lsilogicsas")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "virtio-scsi")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "GIMDev")) {continue;}
        if (!strcmp(pReg->szName, "lpc")) {continue;}

         * Gather a bit of config.
        /* trusted */

The most significant issue is that minimizing our test cases is not an option when the stability is low (the percentage depends on the drivers we fuzz). If we cannot reproduce the crash, we can at least intercept it and analyze it afterward in gdb.

We ran AFL in debug mode as a workaround, which yields a core file after every crash. Before running the fuzzer, this behavior can be enabled by:

$ export AFL_DEBUG=1
$ ulimit -c unlimited


We presented one of the possible approaches to fuzzing VirtualBox device drivers. We hope it contributes to a better understanding of VirtualBox internals. For inspiration, I’ll leave you with the quote from doc/VBox-CodingGuidelines.cpp:

 * (2)  "A really advanced hacker comes to understand the true inner workings of
 *      the machine - he sees through the language he's working in and glimpses
 *      the secret functioning of the binary code - becomes a Ba'al Shem of
 *      sorts."   (Neal Stephenson "Snow Crash")