|\ __________                          __   __                         __
         | |   __     |          _____ __    __\__/_|  |_ __ ___   _____   ___ |  |\_____     
         | |  /  \    |         /  _  \  \  /  /  |_    _|  /   \ /  _  \ /  _ \  |/  _  \    
         | |  \  /___ |        /  /_\  \  \/  /|  | |  |\|   /\  \  / \  \  / \   |  /_\  \   
         | |__/    _ \|        |  _____||    |\|  | |  | |  |\|  |  |\|  |  |\|   |  _____|\  
         | |___/\  \\_\        \  \____/  /\  \|  | |  | |  | |  |  \_/  /  \_/   |  \___ \|  
         | |    /   \_|         \_____/__/ /\__\__| |__| |__| |__|\_____/ \____/__|\_____/\   
         | |   / / \___|         \____\__\/  \__\__\|\__\|\__\|\__\\____\/ \___\\__\\____\/   
         | |__/_/_____|     

Last changed: 11.07.2019

Basic binary analysis

reverse it!

echo c68e c6a7 d0af c68e 56 c68e d0af | xxd -ps -r

hashsum checks

To check if a binary gets recognized as malware or if it is already known you query virustotal.com for the file or its hash.

md5sum <file>
sha1sum <file>
pehash <file>

To search for similar files you could use the fuzzy ssdeep hash or the imphash which hashes only the import address table of binaries. virustotal.com offers the search modifiers ssdeep:"<HASH> <SCORE>" and imphash:<HASH>.

ssdeep <file>


import pefile
pe = pefile.PE('evil.exe')

compare binary files

cmp -l <file1> <file2> | gawk '{printf "%08X %02X %02X\n", $1-1, strtonum(0$2), strtonum(0$3)}'
vbindiff <file1> <file2>

PE information (linux)

For some basic static analysis of a PE file linux offers some command line tools.

basic identification

file <file>

string search

strings <file>
strings -el <wide-char-file>
pestr <file>

show headers, sections, import & exports

readpe -h coff <file>
readpe -S <file>
readpe -i -e <file>

To resolve imports by ordinals you can use objdump or radare2. At this moment it seems as if radare2 does ignore the ordinal offset.

objdump -p <my_dll>
r2 -qc iE <my_dll> | grep ord=003 | cut -d " " -f 3,8

scan for suspicious artifacts

peframe <file>

disassemble selected instructions

pedis -e -i 10 <file>
pedis -s .text <file>

identify packer

pepack -d userdb.txt <file>

show security features

pesec <file>

extract ressources

for f in *exe; do echo "$f"; peres -s "$f"; done
peres -l <file>
peres -X <file>

The listing and the named extraction were patched into peres in June 2018. So I make sure to use a recent version from the git repository.

ELF information (linux)

show headers, sections, symbols

readelf -h <file>
readelf -S <file>
readelf --dyn-syms <file>

show dynamically linked libraries

ldd <file>

disassemble selected instructions

objdump -dMintel <file> | grep \<main -A 30

PE information (windows)

basic dynamic analysis (windows)

To run dynamic analysis of a PE file you could monitor its execution in a safe windows environment. To simulate an internet connection I use inetsim on another linux machine.

echo -n "Microsoft NCSI" > /var/lib/inetsim/http/fakefiles/sample.txt

For Windows 10 it should be

echo -n "Microsoft Connect Test" > /var/lib/inetsim/http/fakefiles/sample.txt

execute exported dll function

rundll32.exe <my_dll>,<function> [<parameter>]

This can be used to start the function in a debugger like x64dbg. Then you could create a dll breakpoint to stop when the dll is loaded.

service dlls

A function called ServiceMain can indicate, that the dll shall run as a service. Sometime a function to install the service is also present. The function can be executed through rundll32.exe. The name of the new service can be found with regshot or procmon.exe.

sc qc <my_service>
net start <my_service>

procexp.exe (SysinternalsSuite)

Some very useful functions of the procexp.exe are

procmon.exe (SysinternalsSuite)

procmon.exe can be used to capture and filter events. To quickly find system modifications or process execution the following filters are useful.

ProcessName is my_process.exe
Operation is WriteFile
Operation is RegSetValue
Operation is Process Create

To gain a quick overview procmon.exe offers a Process Tree (Ctrl+T) or activity summaries in its Tools menue.


ProcDOT can import .csv files from procmon.exe and generate a graph with the main activity of a specified process. Furthermore this graph can be replayed sequentially according to the timestamps recorded by procmon.exe.


To quickly see changes in the registry regshot can be used to create and compare snapshots of all registry values before and after the execution of the program.

basic dynamic analysis (linux)

To gain a first impression what a binary does you can monitor its system calls and library calls in a safe environment.


Running a program through strace will print all occuring system calls, their parameters and the return values. The output can be filtered and written to a text file.

strace -n 100 -fi <file>
strace -e trace=open,close,write -o output.txt <file>
strace -p <pid>


When analysing a dynamically linked binary with ltrace all library calls get printed. System calls can get included in the output.

ltrace -S -f -i <file>
ltrace -l libc.so.6 -s 100 -o output.txt <file>


The program lsof helps finding opened files, pipes and network connections. It can combine filters with OR or AND.

lsof <file> +D <directory>
lsof -u <user> -c <command> -a
lsof -i4 -p <pid>

unpacking packed binaries with x64dbg

dump with scylla

fix IAT with scylla


Host and network based Indicators of Compromise can be turned into signatures to detect infected machines or malicious network traffic.


alert tcp any any -> any any (msg:"Snort example"; content:"|0d 0a|value\: evil|0d 0a|"; sid:12345; rev:1;)

test snort rules

To test these rules the config has to be modified to include the rule file. Afterwards snort can be run. If it runs on the same machine as the communication participant checksum filtering should be disabled.

snort -i eth0 -c /etc/snort/snort.conf -A console -k none


rule yara_example {
    quality = "high"
    description = "evil string in pe file"
    $s1 = "evil"
    $s2 = "evil" wide
    (1 of them) and (pe.characteristics & pe.EXECUTABLE_IMAGE)

test yara rules

yara -rwm yara_examle.rule <folder>

virustotal yara module

Virustotal offers its own yara module for live hunting.