Semmle 1.24
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Analysis in all applications

The following changes in version 1.19 affect Python analysis in all applications.

General improvements

Representation of the control flow graph

The representation of the control flow graph (CFG) has been modified to better reflect the semantics of Python. As part of these changes, a new predicate Stmt.getAnEntryNode() has been added to make it easier to write reachability queries involving statements.

CFG nodes removed

The following statement types no longer have a CFG node for the statement itself, as their sub-expressions already contain all the semantically significant information:

  • ExprStmt
  • If
  • Assign
  • Import

For example, the CFG for if cond: foo else bar now starts with the CFG node for cond.

CFG nodes reordered

For the following statement types, the CFG node for the statement now follows the CFG nodes of its sub-expressions to follow Python semantics:

  • Print
  • TemplateWrite
  • ImportStar

For example the CFG for print foo (in Python 2) has changed from print -> foo to foo -> print, to reflect the runtime behavior.

The CFG for the with statement has been re-ordered to more closely reflect the semantics. For the with statement:

 with cm as var:

  • Previous CFG node order: <with> -> cm -> var -> body
  • New CFG node order: cm -> <with> -> var -> body

New queries

Query Tags Purpose
Assert statement tests the truth value of a literal constant (py/assert-literal-constant) reliability, correctness Checks whether an assert statement is testing the truth of a literal constant value. Results are hidden on LGTM by default.
Flask app is run in debug mode (py/flask-debug) security, external/cwe/cwe-215, external/cwe/cwe-489 Finds instances where a Flask application is run in debug mode. Results are shown on LGTM by default.
Information exposure through an exception (py/stack-trace-exposure) security, external/cwe/cwe-209, external/cwe/cwe-497 Finds instances where information about an exception may be leaked to an external user. Results are shown on LGTM by default.
Jinja2 templating with autoescape=False (py/jinja2/autoescape-false) security, external/cwe/cwe-079 Finds instantiations of jinja2.Environment with autoescape=False which may allow XSS attacks. Results are hidden on LGTM by default.
Request without certificate validation (py/request-without-cert-validation) security, external/cwe/cwe-295 Finds requests where certificate verification has been explicitly turned off, possibly allowing man-in-the-middle attacks. Results are hidden on LGTM by default.
Use of weak cryptographic key (py/weak-crypto-key) security, external/cwe/cwe-326 Finds creation of weak cryptographic keys. Results are shown on LGTM by default.

Changes to existing queries

All taint-tracking queries now support visualization of paths in QL for Eclipse. Most security alerts are now visible on LGTM by default. This means that you may see results that were previously hidden for the following queries:

  • Code injection (py/code-injection)
  • Reflected server-side cross-site scripting (py/reflective-xss)
  • SQL query built from user-controlled sources (py/sql-injection)
  • Uncontrolled data used in path expression (py/path-injection)
  • Uncontrolled command line (py/command-line-injection)
Query Expected impact Change
Command injection (py/command-line-injection) More results Additional sinks in the os, and popen modules may find more results in some projects.
Encoding error (py/encoding-error) Better alert location Alerts are now shown at the start of the encoding error, rather than at the top of the file.
Missing call to __init__ during object initialization (py/missing-call-to-init) Fewer false positive results Results where it is likely that the full call chain has not been analyzed are no longer reported.
URL redirection from remote source (py/url-redirection) Fewer false positive results Taint is no longer tracked from the right-hand side of binary expressions. In other words SAFE + TAINTED is now treated as safe.

Changes to code extraction

Improved reporting of encoding errors

The extractor now outputs the location of the first character that triggers an EncodingError. Any queries that report encoding errors will now show results at the location of the character that caused the error.

Improved scalability

Scaling is near linear to at least 20 CPU cores.

Improved logging

  • Five levels of logging are available: CRITICAL, ERROR, WARN, INFO and DEBUG. WARN is the default.
  • LGTM uses INFO level logging. QL tools use WARN level logging by default.
  • The --verbose flag can be specified specified multiple times to increase the logging level once per flag added.
  • The --quiet flag can be specified multiple times to reduce the logging level once per flag added.
  • Log lines are now in the [SEVERITY] message style and never overlap.

Changes to QL libraries

  • Taint-tracking analysis now understands HTTP requests in the twisted library.
  • The analysis now handles isinstance and issubclass tests involving the basic abstract base classes better. For example, the test issubclass(list, collections.Sequence) is now understood to be True
  • Taint tracking automatically tracks tainted mappings and collections, without you having to add additional taint kinds. This means that custom taints are tracked from x to y in the following flow: l = [x]; y = l[0].

Additional changes for analysis in QL tools and applications only

There are no additional changes that affect Python analysis only in QL for Eclipse, and the QL command-line tools.

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