The Security War in File Systems: An Empirical Study from A Vulnerability-centric Perspective

Jinghan Sun, Shaobo Li, Jun Xu, Jian Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a systematic study on the security of modern file systems, following a vulnerability-centric perspective. Specifically, we collected 377 file system vulnerabilities committed to the CVE database in the past 20 years. We characterize them from four dimensions: why the vulnerabilities appear, how the vulnerabilities can be exploited, what consequences can arise, and how the vulnerabilities are fixed. This way, we build a deep understanding of the attack surfaces faced by file systems, the threats imposed by the attack surfaces, and the good and bad practices in mitigating the attacks in file systems. We envision that our study will bring insights towards the future development of file systems, the enhancement of file system security, and the relevant vulnerability-mitigating solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3606020
JournalACM Transactions on Storage
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 3 2023


  • Storage systems
  • file system vulnerabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture

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