Formal Verification of kLIBC with the WP Frama-C plug-in

Accepted at Nasa Formal Methods 2014.

by Nuno Carvalho, Cristiano da Silva Sousa, Jorge Sousa Pinto, and Aaron Tomb

Abstract: This paper presents our results in the formal verification of klibc, a minimalistic C library, using the Frama-C WP tool. We report how we were able to completely verify a significant number of functions from <string.h> and <stdio.h>. We discuss difficulties encountered and describe in detail a problem in the implementation of common <string.h> functions, for which we suggest alternative implementations.

Our work shows that it is presently already viable to verify low-level C code, with heavy usage of pointers. Although the properties proved tend to be shallower as the code becomes of a lower-level nature, it is our view that this is an important direction towards real-world software verification, which cannot be attained by focusing on deep properties of cleaner code, written specifically to be verified.

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