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DEF CON 23 - Shoshitaishvili and Wang - Angry Hacking: The next gen of binary analysis

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Published on Dec 25, 2015

Security has gone from a curiosity to a phenomenon in the last decade. Fortunately for us, despite the rise of memory-safe, interpreted, lame languages, the security of binaries is as relevant as ever. On top of that, (computer security) Capture the Flag competitions have skyrocketed in popularity, with new and exciting binaries on offer for hacking every weekend.

This all sounds great, and it is. Unfortunately, the more time goes by, the older we get, and the more our skills fade. Whereas we were happy to stare at objdump a decade ago, today, we find the menial parts of reversing and pwning more and more tiring and more and more difficult. Worse, while security analysis tools have been evolving to make life easier for us hackers, the core tools that we use (like IDA Pro) have remained mostly stagnant. And on top of that, the term "binaries" have expanded to regularly include ARM, MIPS, PPC, MSP430, and every other crazy architecture you can think of, rather than the nice, comfortable x86 of yesteryear.

New tools are required, and we're here to deliver. Over the last two years, we have been working on a next-generation binary analysis framework in an attempt to turn back the tide and reduce our mounting noobness. The result is called angr.

angr assists in binary analysis by providing extremely powerful, state-of-the-art analyses, and making them as straightforward to use as possible. Ever wanted to know *what freaking value* some variable could take on in a function (say, can the target of a computed write point to the return address)? angr can tell you! Want to know what input you need to trigger a certain code path and export a flag? Ask angr! In the talk, we'll cover three of the analyses that angr provides: a powerful static analysis engine (able to, among other things, automatically identify potential memory corruption in binaries through the use of Value-Set Analysis), its symbolic execution engine, and dynamic emulation of various architectures (*super* useful for debugging shellcode).

On top of that, angr is designed to make the life of a hacker as easy as possible -- for example, the whole system is 98% Python, and is designed to be a breeze to interact with through iPython. Plus, it comes with a nifty GUI with nice visualizations for symbolically exploring a program, tracking differences between different program paths, and understanding value ranges of variables and registers. Finally, angr is designed to be easily extensible and embeddable in other applications. We'll show off a semantic-aware ROP gadget finder ("are there any gadgets that write to a positive offset of rax but don't clobber rbx" or "given this program state, what are the gadgets that won't cause a segfault") and a binary diffing engine, both built on angr.

We've used angr to solve CTF binaries, analyze embedded devices, debug shellcode, and even dabble in the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge. We'll talk about our experiences with all of that and will release angr to the world, hopefully revolutionizing binary analysis and making everyone ANGRY!

Speaker Bios:
Yan and Fish are two members of Shellphish, a pretty badass hacking team famous for low SLA and getting the freaking exploit JUST A FREAKING MINUTE LATE. Their secret identities are those of PhD students in the security lab of UC Santa Barbara. When they're not CTFing or surfing, they're doing next-generation (what does that even mean?) security research. Their works have been published in numerous academic venues. For example, in 2013, they created an automatic tool, called MovieStealer, a tool to automatically break the DRM of streaming media services [1]. After taking 2014 to work on angr, in 2015, they followed this up with an analysis of backdoors in embedded devices [2].

Now, they've set their sights on helping the world analyze binaries faster, better, stronger, by revolutionizing the analysis tool landscape!

[1] https://www.usenix.org/conference/use...
[2] http://www.internetsociety.org/doc/fi...

Twitter: @zardus

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