Combining Graph Neural Networks with Expert Knowledge for Smart Contract Vulnerability Detection

24 Jul 2021  ·  Zhenguang Liu, Peng Qian, Xiaoyang Wang, Yuan Zhuang, Lin Qiu, Xun Wang ·

Smart contract vulnerability detection draws extensive attention in recent years due to the substantial losses caused by hacker attacks. Existing efforts for contract security analysis heavily rely on rigid rules defined by experts, which are labor-intensive and non-scalable... More importantly, expert-defined rules tend to be error-prone and suffer the inherent risk of being cheated by crafty attackers. Recent researches focus on the symbolic execution and formal analysis of smart contracts for vulnerability detection, yet to achieve a precise and scalable solution. Although several methods have been proposed to detect vulnerabilities in smart contracts, there is still a lack of effort that considers combining expert-defined security patterns with deep neural networks. In this paper, we explore using graph neural networks and expert knowledge for smart contract vulnerability detection. Specifically, we cast the rich control- and data- flow semantics of the source code into a contract graph. To highlight the critical nodes in the graph, we further design a node elimination phase to normalize the graph. Then, we propose a novel temporal message propagation network to extract the graph feature from the normalized graph, and combine the graph feature with designed expert patterns to yield a final detection system. Extensive experiments are conducted on all the smart contracts that have source code in Ethereum and VNT Chain platforms. Empirical results show significant accuracy improvements over the state-of-the-art methods on three types of vulnerabilities, where the detection accuracy of our method reaches 89.15%, 89.02%, and 83.21% for reentrancy, timestamp dependence, and infinite loop vulnerabilities, respectively. read more

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