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WebAssembly is a compilation target for cross-platform applications that is increasingly being used. In this paper, we investigate whether one can transparently cross-compile C programs to WebAssembly, and if not, what impact porting can have on their security. We compile 17 802 programs that exhibit common vulnerabilities to 64-bit x86 and to WebAssembly binaries, and we observe that the execution of 4 911 binaries produces different results across these platforms. Through manual inspection, we identify three classes of root causes for such differences: the use of a different standard library implementation, the lack of security measures in WebAssembly, and the different semantics of the execution environments. We describe our observations and discuss the ones that are critical from a security point of view and need most attention from developers. We conclude that compiling an existing C program to WebAssembly for cross-platform distribution may require source code adaptations; otherwise, the security of the WebAssembly application may be at risk.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 37th ACM/SIGAPP Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2022|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Apr 2022|
|Event||The 37th ACM/SIGAPP Symposium On Applied Computing - Virtual|
Duration: 25 Apr 2022 → 29 Apr 2022
|Name||Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Applied Computing|
|Conference||The 37th ACM/SIGAPP Symposium On Applied Computing|
|Abbreviated title||SAC 2022|
|Period||25/04/22 → 29/04/22|
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Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
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