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This repository contains the Taser tool for generating taint specifications for Node.js modules, as described in the 2020 ICSE paper Extracting Taint Specifications for JavaScript Libraries (Link will follow later). Taser uses a dynamic analysis to monitor how an application (client) interacts with a module (library). Based on the recorded observations, Taser builds a taint specification model of the module consisting of taint propagations and additional sinks. The taint propagations relate tainted entry points of the module, e.g., function arguments, with exit points of the library, e.g., function return values. The additional sinks relate module entry points with predefined sinks, for example, if a function argument flows into an exec call, then that constitutes an additional sink.



  • NodeProf (follow installation instructions here)
  • npm
  • Mac or Linux to use the instrumented-node/node script.

Run npm install to install the remaining dependencies.

Set the environment variable NODE_PROF_LOCATION to point to your NodeProf installation folder.


To run the analysis on example.js:

POLICY_FILE="{TaserFolder}/src/DefaultPolicy.js" POLICY_OUT="model.json" LIBRARY_UNDER_TEST="lodash" bash -c './instrumented-node/node example.js'

Where you replace {TaserFolder} with an absolute path to the Taser project folder.

The POLICY_FILE contains the predefined set of sinks, POLICY_OUT is for setting the model output file, and LIBRARY_UNDER_TEST specifies which module the taint specifiactions are generated for.

Experimental results

The new-lgtm-alerts file contains the set of LGTM alerts reports from RQ3 in the paper.


Copyright 2020 the authors

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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