Binary-only Fuzzing with Frida

LibAFL supports different instrumentation engines for binary-only fuzzing. A potent cross-platform (Windows, MacOS, Android, Linux, iOS) option for binary-only fuzzing is Frida; the dynamic instrumentation tool.

In this section, we will talk about the components in fuzzing with libafl_frida. You can take a look at a working example in our fuzzers/frida_libpng folder for Linux, and fuzzers/frida_gdiplus for Windows.


If you are on Linux or OSX, you'll need libc++ for libafl_frida in addition to libafl's dependencies. If you are on Windows, you'll need to install llvm tools.

Harness & Instrumentation

LibAFL uses Frida's Stalker to trace the execution of your program and instrument your harness. Thus, you have to compile your harness to a dynamic library. Frida instruments your PUT after dynamically loading it.

For example in our frida_libpng example, we load the dynamic library and find the symbol to harness as follows:

        let lib = libloading::Library::new(module_name).unwrap();
        let target_func: libloading::Symbol<
            unsafe extern "C" fn(data: *const u8, size: usize) -> i32,
        > = lib.get(symbol_name.as_bytes()).unwrap();

FridaInstrumentationHelper and Runtimes

To use functionalities that Frida offers, we'll first need to obtain Gum object by Gum::obtain().

In LibAFL, we use the FridaInstrumentationHelper struct to manage frida-related state. FridaInstrumentationHelper is a key component that sets up the Transformer that is used to generate the instrumented code. It also initializes the Runtimes that offer various instrumentation.

We have CoverageRuntime that can track the edge coverage, AsanRuntime for address sanitizer, DrCovRuntime that uses DrCov for coverage collection (to be imported in coverage tools like Lighthouse, bncov, dragondance,...), and CmpLogRuntime for cmplog instrumentation. All of these runtimes can be slotted into FridaInstrumentationHelper at build time.

Combined with any Runtime you'd like to use, you can initialize the FridaInstrumentationHelper like this:

        let gum = Gum::obtain();
        let frida_options = FridaOptions::parse_env_options();
        let coverage = CoverageRuntime::new();
        let mut frida_helper = FridaInstrumentationHelper::new(

Running the Fuzzer

After setting up the FridaInstrumentationHelper. You can obtain the pointer to the coverage map by calling map_ptr_mut().

        let edges_observer = HitcountsMapObserver::new(StdMapObserver::new_from_ptr(

You can then link this observer to FridaInProcessExecutor as follows:

        let mut executor = FridaInProcessExecutor::new(
                &mut frida_harness,
                &mut fuzzer,
                &mut state,
                &mut mgr,
            &mut frida_helper,

And, finally you can run the fuzzer. See the frida_ examples in ./fuzzers for more information and, for linux or full-system, play around with libafl_qemu, another binary-only tracer.