Testing TLS using planning-based combinatorial methods and execution framework

Dimitris E. Simos*, Josip Bozic, Bernhard Garn, Manuel Leithner, Feng Duan, Kristoffer Kleine, Yu Lei, Franz Wotawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The TLS protocol is the standard for secure Internet communication between two parties. Unfortunately, there have been recently successful attacks like DROWN, ROBOT, or BREACH that indicate the necessity for thoroughly testing TLS implementations. In our research work, we focus on automated test case generation and execution for the TLS security protocol, where the aim is to combine planning with combinatorial methods for providing test cases that ideally also reveal previously unknown attacks. This is made feasible by creating appropriate input parameter models for different messages that can appear in a TLS message sequence. In this paper, we present the resulting test case generation and execution framework together with the corresponding test oracle. Furthermore, we discuss in detail empirical results obtained via testing different TLS implementations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalSoftware Quality Journal
Early online date1 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2018


  • Combinatorial testing
  • Planning
  • Security protocols
  • Security testing
  • TLS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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