Dr. David J. Pearce

Reverse Engineering of an Obfuscated Binary

Author(s). Kaisuho Yang.

Venue. MSc Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, 2020.

Abstract: Reverse engineering is an important process employed by both attackers seeking to gain entry to a system as well as the security engineers that protect it. While there are numerous tools developed for this purpose, they often can be tedious to use and rely on prior obtained domain knowledge. After examining a number of contemporary tools, we design and implement a de-noising tool that reduces the human effort needed to perform reverse engineering. The tool takes snapshots of a target program’s memory as the user consistently interacts with it. By comparing changes across multiple sets of snapshots, consistent changes in memory that could be attributed to the user action are identified. We go on to demonstrate its use on three Windows applications: Minesweeper, Solitaire and Notepad++. Through assistance from the de-noising tool, we were able to discover information such as the location of mines and values of cards in these two games before they are revealed, and the data structure used for input to Notepad++.