Announcing RTSPhuzz -- An RTSP Server Fuzzer

There are many ways software is tested for faults, some of those faults end up originating from exploitable memory corruption situations and are labeled vulnerabilities. One popular method used to identify these types of faults in software is runtime fuzzing.

When developing servers that implement an RFC defined protocol, dynamically mutating the inputs and messages sent to the server is a good strategy for fuzzing. The Mozilla security team has used fuzzing internally to great effect on their systems and applications over the years. One area that Mozilla wanted to see more open source work in was fuzzing of streaming media protocols, specifically RTSP.

Towards that goal IncludeSec is today releasing We're also excited to announce the work of the initial development of the tool has been sponsored by the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) awards program. RTSPhuzz is provided as free and open unsupported software for the greater good of the maintainers and authors of RTSP services -- FOSS and COTS alike!

RTSPhuzz is based on the boofuzz framework, it and connects as a client to target RTSP servers and fuzzes RTSP messages or sequences of messages. In the rest of this post we'll cover some of the important bits to know about it. If you have an RTSP server, go ahead and jump right into our repo and shoot us a note to say hi if it ends up being useful to you.

Existing Approaches

We are aware of two existing RTSP fuzzers, StreamFUZZ and RtspFuzzer.

RtspFuzzer uses the Peach fuzzing framework to fuzz RTSP responses, however it targets RTSP client implementations, whereas our fuzzer targets RTSP servers.

StreamFUZZ is a Python script that does not utilize a fuzzing framework. Similar to our fuzzer, it fuzzes different parts of RTSP messages and sends them to a server. However, it is more simplistic; it doesn't fuzz as many messages or header fields as our fuzzer, it does not account for the types of the fields it fuzzes, and it does not keep track of sessions for fuzzing sequences of messages.

Approach to Fuzzer Creation

The general approach for RTSPhuzz was to first review the RTSP RFC carefully, then define each of the client-to-server message types as boofuzz messages. RTSP headers were then distributed among the boofuzz messages in such a way that each is mutated by the boofuzz engine in at least one message, and boofuzz messages are connected in a graph to reasonably simulate RTSP sessions. Header values and message bodies were given initial reasonable default values to allow successful fuzzing of later messages in a sequence of messages. Special processing is done for several headers so that they conform to the protocol when different parts of messages are being mutated. The boofuzz fuzzing framework gives us the advantage of being able to leverage its built-in mutations, logging, and web interface.

Using RTSPhuzz

You can grab the code from github. Then, specify the server host, server port, and RTSP path to a media file on the target server: --host --port 554 --path test/media/file.mp3

Once RTSPhuzz is started, the boofuzz framework will open the default web interface on localhost port 26000, and will record results locally in a boofuzz-results/ directory. The web interface can be re-opened for the database from a previous run with boofuzz's boo tool:

boo open <run-*.db>

See the RTSPhuzz readme for more detailed options and ways to run RTSPhuzz, and boofuzz's documentation for more information on boofuzz.

Open Source and Continued Development

This is RTSPhuzz's initial release for open use by all. We encourage you to try it out and share ways to improve the tool. We will review and accept PRs, address bugs where we can, and also would love to hear any shout-outs for any bugs you find with this tool (@includesecurity).