An Approach to Injecting faults into Hardened Software

There are many efforts within the Linux community to produce a distribution of Linux that meets industry standards for quality and reliability. There has been acknowledgment for the need to introduce faults into various software layers of the Linux OS to achieve this. This paper focuses on the results of our development of a prototype fault injection harness. The prototype focused on a black box approach for injecting faults into device drivers. The technology proved in this prototype can be applied to any software layer in the operating system. This presentation proposes and proves the feasibility of a method for injecting faults called, "state analysis." This method is the key to our black box approach for driver hardening. It does not require a test writer to have intimate knowledge of the implementation for the driver. It also provides a solid foundation for driver developers to augment the fault injection harness to meet whatever the Linux community presents to the world in the way of driver hardening criteria. The target audience includes developers focusing on Linux hardening (Drivers and Kernel), test engineers looking for a starting point to fault injection, and anyone looking for input into the kinds of capabilities that can be provided by the use of fault injection.


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