Framework Structure

This document goes over the main modules that form a fuzzer and explains the relation between them. It also discusses the differences between client and server fuzzing.

Relation Between Modules

Fuzzer  +--- Model *--- Template *--- Field
        +--- Target  +--- Controller
        |            |
        |            *--- Monitor
        +--- Interface


Data Model

The first part of Kitty is the data model. It defines the structure of the messages that will be sent by the fuzzer. This includes a separation of the message into fields (such as header, length and payload), types of those fields (such as string, checksum and hex-encoded 32bit integer) and the relation between them (such as length, checksum and count). The data model also describes the order in which different messages are chained together to form a fuzzing session. This can be useful when trying to fuzz deeper parts of the system (for example, getting past an authentication stage in order to fuzz the parts of the system only reachable by authenticated users). The data model can also specify that the order in which messages are sent itself be fuzzed.

The data model is constructed using the classes defined in the model source folder.

For more information, visit the data model documentation, reference and tutorials.


Base Classes:
  1. kitty.targets.client.ClientTarget when fuzzing a client application
  2. kitty.targets.server.ServerTarget when fuzzing a server application
API Reference:

kitty.targets package

The target module is in charge of everything that is related to the victim. Its responsibilities are:

  1. When fuzzing a server — initiating the fuzzing session by sending a request to the server, and handling the response, when such response exists.
  2. When fuzzing a client — triggering a fuzzing session by causing the client to initiate a request to the server. The server, with the help of the stack (see the client fuzzing tutorial), will send a fuzzed response to the client. Note that in this case the target itself is not involved the client-server-fuzzer communication!
  3. Managing the monitors and controllers (see below).

The sources for the target classes are located in the targets source folder. There are two target base classes, ClientTarget (in targets/ and ServerTarget (in targets/ These classes define the target APIs and should be subclassed when implementing a new target class.

A class should be written for every new type of target. For example, if you want to test a server application that communicates over a serial UART connection, you will need to create a new class that inherits from ServerTarget and is able to send data over the UART. However, many times it will only require the implementation of the send/receive functions and not much more. Some targets are already available in the Katnip repository, so you don’t need to implement them yourself: for example, TcpTarget may be used to test HTTP servers and SslTarget may be used to test HTTPS servers.

The controller and the monitors (described below) are managed by the target, which queries and uses them as needed.

For each test the target generates a report which contains the reports of the controller and all monitors. This report is passed back to the fuzzer (described below) upon request.


Base Class:kitty.controllers.base.BaseController
API Reference:kitty.controllers package

The controller is in charge of preparing the victim for the test. It should make sure that the victim is in an appropriate state before the target initiates the transfer session. Sometimes it means doing nothing, other times it means starting or reseting a VM, killing a process or performing a hard reset to the victim hardware.

Since the controller is reponsible for the state of the victim, it is expected to perform basic monitoring as well, and report whether the victim is ready for the next test.


Base Class:kitty.monitors.base.BaseMonitor
API Reference:kitty.monitors package

A monitor object monitors the behavior of the victim. It may monitor the network traffic, memory consumption, serial output or anything else.

Since there might be more than a single behavior to monitor, multiple monitors can be used when fuzzing a victim.


  1. kitty.fuzzers.client.ClientFuzzer when fuzzing a client target.
  2. kitty.fuzzers.server.ServerFuzzer when fuzzing a server target.
API Reference:

kitty.fuzzers package

A fuzzer drives the whole fuzzing process. Its job is to obtain mutated payloads from the model, initiate the data transaction, receive the report from the target, and perform further processing, if needed. A fuzzer is the top level entity in our test runner, and should not be subclassed in most cases.


Base Class:kitty.interfaces.base.BaseInterface
API Reference:kitty.interfaces package

Interface is a user interface, which allows the user to monitor and check the fuzzer as it goes. The web interface should suffice in most cases.