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Dmitry Schelkunov, Vasily Bukasov - About practical deobfuscation
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Dmitry Schelkunov, Vasily Bukasov - About practical deobfuscation


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International Security Conference "ZeroNights 2011" -

International Security Conference "ZeroNights 2011" -

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  • 1. On deobfuscation in practice Vasily Bukasov Dmitry Schelkunov
  • 2. Obfuscation applications• Software protection against computer piracy• Malware protection against automatic detection and to impede analysis of a malicious code
  • 3. Obfuscators and protectors• Manual obfuscation requires a lot of resources• It’s much easier to use obfuscators and protectors which promise a strong obfuscation
  • 4. Common code protection techniques• Code encryption (out of scope of our report)• Code virtualization• Code morphing
  • 5. Code virtualization• Converts a source assembler code to the specially generated byte-code• Inserts byte-code and byte- code interpreter into the source PE file
  • 6. Code virtualization Byte-code mostly representsoriginal assembler instructions so its execution has the same effect as from the original instructions
  • 7. Code virtualization Get instruction byte-codeByte-code Get instruction arguments from VM fetching context or from another location loop Process instruction Save result into VM context or into another location
  • 8. VM context• Contains variables associated with processor registers• Contains VM state• Its location can be easily found in most cases
  • 9. VM context location• Dynamically allocated memory (VirtualAlloc, HeapAlloc)• Global memory (access via spinlock)• Stack
  • 10. VM stack context layout 0 Not initialized VM context rSP Reserved area Stack of the protected code
  • 11. «Virtualized» additionvoid unoptimal_addition( int a, int b, int *p ){ int u, v, t, *r; u = a; v = b; r = p; t = u + v; *r = t;}
  • 12. Virtualized code execution Getting byte-codeLoading from VM context This code is Instruction execution asking to be Saving to VM context Getting byte-code optimized Loading from VM context Instruction execution Saving to VM context etc…
  • 13. Code devirtualization• We can locate VM context• We can get CFG in most cases• We can use common code optimization algorithms to deobfuscate a virtualized code
  • 14. Code morphing• Used to increase resistance to the static analysis• Used for the CFG obfuscation• Used to increase VM body analyzing complexity
  • 15. Code morphing and CFG obfuscationIt’s a difficult task to decompilea machine codeTherefore protectors don’t eventry to do it 
  • 16. Code morphing and CFG obfuscationData dependencies analysis isweak in protectorsTherefore they are limited inchoice of obfuscation techniques
  • 17. Code morphing common techniques Recursive templates Template Template Instruction Instruction TemplateInstruction … Instruction Template
  • 18. Code morphing common techniques• Dead code insertion• Garbage code insertion• Opaque predicates• Jump address calculation• Code cloning
  • 19. Morphed code deobfuscation• Decompilation into IR• IR instruction emulation• Collecting variables values• Emulation-based deobfuscation techniques
  • 20. Ariadne engine• An engine for RE• Can be used as IDA plugin• Enables PE format analyzing, disassembling and modifying• Supports GP, FPU, MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, SSE4a, VMX, SMX
  • 21. Ariadne engine• Supports assembler instructions translation into Ariadne Intermediate Representation (AIR)• Supports IR instructions emulation• Contains emulator-based code tracing mechanisms
  • 22. Ariadne engine• Contains built-in trace deobfuscation (AIR Wave Deobfuscation Technology)
  • 23. AIR Wave Deobfuscation Technology• Static deobfuscation –based on the classical compiler theory approaches –doesn’t use emulation
  • 24. AIR Wave Deobfuscation Technology• Dynamic deobfuscation –uses Ariadne IR emulator –calculates values of variables –determines in a lot of cases where a pointer points to –used for dereferenced pointers deobfuscation
  • 25. AIR Wave Deobfuscation Technology• Deobfuscation techniques –dead code elimination –variables propagation –constant folding –math simplifications
  • 26. AIR Wave Deobfuscation Technology• Deobfuscation techniques –loop unrolling –common subexpression elimination –pointer analysis and alias classification
  • 27. Our results• Many obfuscators/protectors provide a weak obfuscation• Ariadne engine can be effectively used for deobfuscation
  • 28. AIR Wave Deobfuscation TechnologyTested on …See it for yourself 
  • 29. And our thanks go…• To Rolf Rolles for his works about virtualization obfuscation unpacking• To Leta Group for Ariadne sponsorship
  • 30. Ariadne engine