Qualifier Challenge - CROMU_00015

Original Versions

Known Vulnerabilities

  • CWE-120 - Buffer Copy without Checking Size of Input ('Classic Buffer Overflow')
  • CWE-122 - Heap-based Buffer Overflow
  • CWE-476 - NULL Pointer Dereference
  • CWEs are listed as indicated by the challenge author.


  • CSDS: 4.0
  • ForAllSecure: 2.14
  • TECHx: 0.44
  • CodeJitsu: 0.0
  • Disekt: 0.0
  • Lekkertech: 0.0
  • Shellphish: 0.0
  • FuzzBOMB: 0.0
  • TrailofBits: 0.0
  • The maximum score for each challenge in CQE is 4, following the CQE Scoring Document.

Passed consensus evaluation

  • CodeJitsu - CB1
  • CSDS - CB1
  • TrailofBits - CB1

Proved a POV in reference challenge

Defense against reference POVs

  • CodeJitsu: 100.0% - CB1
  • CSDS: 100.0% - CB1
  • TrailofBits: 100.0% - CB1
  • TECHx: 57.1% - CB1
  • Disekt: 14.3% - CB1
  • ForAllSecure: 14.3% - CB1

No submission

  • Eighth Place Team
  • Eleventh Place Team
  • Fifth Place Team - Finalist
  • First Place Team - Finalist
  • Fourth Place Team - Finalist
  • Ninth Place Team
  • Second Place Team - Finalist
  • Seventh Place Team - Finalist
  • Sixth Place Team - Finalist
  • Tenth Place Team
  • Third Place Team - Finalist
  • Thirteenth Place Team
  • Twelfth Place Team

All Submissions

Author Information

"John Berry" hj@cromulence.co

DARPA performer group



A user is able to submit a Planet Markup Language (PML). This will be parsed and presented to the user via menu driven options that allow the elements to be modified.

This CB was designed to push the limits of the CRS' capability to handle the state space explosion problem. While this is not as complex as someting such as a browser or media player, it is large enough to serve as a milestone for CRS'. While the state space is large, the two vulnerabilities are straight forward.

Feature List

PML Format:

Generic format:

Each element opens with {ElementId} and closes with {#ElementId}. No element will have itself as a sub element.

Top level Planet element: {Planet} -- This is the top level id indicating a new planet descriptor {Name} AlphaNumeric {#Name} -- Indicate the name of the planet {Period} Float {#Period} -- Orbital period in days {OrbitSpeed} Float {#OrbitSpeed} -- Average orbital speed in km/s {Aphelion} Float {#Aphelion} -- Aphelion in km {Perihelion} Float {#Perihelion} -- Perihelion in km {Radius} Float {#Radius} -- Mean radius in km {ERadius} Float {#ERadius} -- Equatorial radius in km {Mass} Float {#Mass} -- Mass in kg {Gravity} Float {#Gravity} -- Surface gravity in m/s {Population} Integer {#Population} -- Global population as a positive integer {Country} Country Format {#Country} -- Country sub information. For full description see the Country subelement formatting. Multiple country Subelements are allowed {#Planet}

Country Element: {Country} {Name} AlphaNumeric {#Name} -- Name of the country {Capitol} Alphabetic {#Captiol} -- Capitol City {Population} Integer {#Population} -- Country population as an integer {Language} Alphabetic {#Language} -- Language spoken within the country. Multiple languages can be specified. {Border} Lat Long start/end {#Border} -- This indicates the start/end via latitude/longitude pair of coordinates. It is necessary to use multiple Border elements to construct a complete border. [*] Ex. {Border} 45.012 34.123 080.123 20.000 {#Border} {Territory} Territory Format {#Territory} -- Used to define territories within a country {#Country}

Territory Element: {Territory} {Name} AlphaNumeric {#Name} {Population} Integer {#Population} {Established} Integer {#Established} -- Year the county was established. Can be negavive {Founder} AlphaNum+Spaces {#Founder} -- Founder of the territory {Border} Lat Long start/end {#Border} {County} County Format {#County} -- County within a territory {#Territory}

County Element: {County} {Name} AlphaNumeric {#Name} {Population} Integer{#Population} {Border} Lat Long start/end {#Border} {Seat} Alpha {#Seat} -- County seat {Area} Float {#Area} -- Total area in square kilometers {Density} Float {#Density} -- Population density in people per km^2 {City} City Format {#City} -- City within a county {#County}

City Element: {City} {Name} Alphanumeric {#Name} {Mayor} AlphaNum+Spaces {#Mayor} -- Mayor of the city {Url} City Website {#Url} -- City website {Population} Integer {#Population} {Border} Lat Long start/end {#Border} {#City}


There are seven vulnerabilities in this CB.

The first vulnerability is relatively simple and is found high in the state space. The size of the capitol element of a Country structure is 20 bytes. However, in the countryMenu() function it is possible to overflow this buffer with 40 total bytes. This corrupts other fields of the structure. One method of causing a crash after the overflow is by selecing "1" to display the country information.

The second vulnerability is also very straight forward but it is much deeper in the PML parsing code. The City structure is able to store the name of the Mayor in a 20 byte buffer but the function strcpy() is used without bounds checking to copy the value from the PML element into the field. This results in a basic heap based buffer overflow.

The third vulnerability exists in the float_to_str() function where a large floating point value will result in a stack based buffer overflow.

The fourth vulnerability is a NULL dereference when parsing a malformed Border field in the PML.

The fifth vulnerability is a NULL dereference when parsing a malformed Planet mass field in the PML.

The sixth vulnerability is a NULL dereference when parsing a malformed Planet period field in the PML.

The seventh vulnerability is a NULL dereference when parsing a malformed name field in the PML.

Generic class of vulnerability

The first two vulnerabilities are heap-based buffer overflows The third is a heap based buffer overflow The Fourth through seventh are null pointer dereferences.

CWE classification

CWE-120 Buffer copy without checking size of input CWE-122 Heap-based buffer overflow CWE-476 NULL Pointer Dereference


The primary difficulty with this challenge is handling the large number of possible combinations of element data. While the potential state space for this CB is no where near that of a standard browser, it will be useful in separating those who can more effectively manages a larger space.

Curated by Lunge Technology, LLC. Questions or comments? Send us email