Robustness Testing and Hardening of CORBA ORB Implementations
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Before using CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) applications in mission-critical scenarios, it is important to understand the robustness of the Object Request Broker (ORB) being used, which forms the platform for CORBA applications. We have extended the Ballista software testing technique to test the exception-handling robustness of C++ ORB client-side application interfaces, and have tested two major versions of three ORB implementations on two operating systems, yielding robustness failure rates ranging from 26% to 42%. To improve ORB robustness, we also propose a probing method to harden object and pseudo-object related data types against exceptional inputs. Using these probes on omniORB 2.8 has proven to be effective in eliminating some cases of robustness failures found during testing. These results suggest that CORBA implementations currently have significant robustness vulnerabilities, but that some important classes of problems can be overcome with better exception-handling approaches.