The need for reverse engineering binary software components arises in more and more contexts every day. Common cases include analysis of malicious software such as viruses, worms, trojans and rootkits, analysing binary drivers in order to develop open-source drivers for alternate platforms, analysing closed source software for security flaws, and source code recovery in legacy systems.

The first step in such an analysis is generally the acquisition of a high-quality disassembly of the binary component. Ida Pro is touted as the premier disassembler available today. Ida Pro is capable of disassembling machine languages for a large number of microprocessors and microcontrollers and is particularly strong when used on Windows and Linux x86 binaries. This course will cover essential background material for effective reverse engineering before diving into the features of Ida Pro that set it apart from other disassemblers.

Course Structure:

The course consists of 40 hours of instruction over five days combining lectures with increasingly difficult hands-on exercises designed to familiarize the student with the capabilities of Ida Pro and its uses in analysing various types of binary files. Students are provided with printed course notes as well as digital versions of the course notes and additional course related files.

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Remember that this course is practical and of an extremely technical nature, so a basic understanding of assembly language (preferably x86), C/C++ programming, networking, and security is a course prerequisite.

Who Should Attend? Information security officers, anti-virus vendors, vulnerability researchers, security consultants, software developers and other nice people will all benefit from the techniques presented in this class.

What to bring: Students will be provided access to a desktop computer running Windows 10 with all necessary software to complete the training already installed.

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Delegates will learn how to

The course will provide an overview of disassembler theory followed by a review of the structure of compiler generated code. Armed with that background information, you will be introduced to the features of Ida Pro that set it apart from other disassemblers and learn how it can assist you in determining the behaviour of various binary files. The course will cover the basics of the Ida Pro interface including the many informational displays it contains before moving on to function calling conventions, stack frame analysis, and how to recognize and understand complex data structures including C++ classes.

The course then moves on to cover IDA’s FLAIR signature generation utilities and how to use them effectively, creation of custom type libraries, using IDA to patch binaries, and batch mode usage. IDA’s programming API’s including the IDC and Python scripting API’s as well as the native C++ API are then covered. Next, we will discuss the creation and use of plugins, custom loader modules, and custom processor modules using real world plugins to perform a variety of advance reverse engineering tasks. Finally, the course will wrap up with a dive into using IDA’s debugger both locally and remotely for simple debugging tasks as well as more advanced uses such as de-obfuscating malware.

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Each student will be provided with many example binaries that will be used throughout the course to demonstrate Ida Pro’s many features. The binaries run the range from simple demonstrations to real world examples of obfuscated malicious code. These binaries will be used in both instructor led discussions and individual exercises to reinforce disassembly concepts and familiarize the student with a wide range of Ida Pro capabilities. In addition to sample binaries, students will be provided with valuable reverse engineering reference material including many Ida Pro sample scripts and plugins. Topics include;

  • Assumptions / Expectations
  • Basic Disassembly Theory Linear Sweep
  • Recursive Descent
  • Binary File Format Basics
  • Ida Pro Background Feature summary
  • Getting Started with Ida Initial file loading
  • Disassembly interfaces Text view
  • Graph view
  • Navigating in Ida
  • Ida name generation
  • Basic Ida editing Renaming
  • Comments
  • Review of Ida displays Hex view
  • Segments view
  • Imports view
  • Exports view
  • Navigation band
  • Strings
  • Graphs
  • Stack Frame Review Calling conventions
  • Stack frame layouts
  • Ida stack related views
  • Working with Complex Data Types Arrays
    • Structs Stack allocated
    • Heap allocated
    • Ida Type Libraries
  • Reversing C++ V-tables
  • RTTI
  • Library Code Identication with FLIRT/FLAIR Identifying static libraries
  • Signature generation
  • Signature application
  • Building Custom Ida Type Libraries
  • Binary Patching
  • Using Batch Mode
  • The IDA Programming API’s IDC
  • Python
  • Native C++
  • Ida Scripting IDC
  • IdaPython
  • The IDA SDK Conguring a build environment
  • Ida Plugins Modules The plugin API
  • Building and installing plugins
    • Some real-world plugins Obfuscated code analysis
    • Collaborative reversing
    • Binary differencing
  • Ida Loader Modules Loaders overview
  • The loader API
  • Key SDK functions for loaders
  • Building and installing loaders
  • Ida Processor Modules Processor module overview
  • Processor module API
  • Key SDK functions for processor modules
  • Building and installing processor modules
  • The Ida Debugger overview
  • Debugger interfaces Local
  • Remote
  • WinDbg
  • Conditional breakpoints and tracing
  • Exception handling
  • Obfuscated code analysis Memory dumping
  • Import table reconstruction

About your Instructor

Chris Eagle is a Senior Lecturer of Computer Science at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, CA. A computer engineer/scientist for over 35 years, his research interests include computer network operations, computer forensics and reverse/anti-reverse engineering. He was the chief architect of the competition infrastructure for DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge. He has been a speaker at conferences such as Black Hat, Shmoocon, and Defcon and is the author of 'The IDA Pro Book' and “The Ghidra Book”. In his spare time he is an inveterate CTF player and has twice won the prestigious capture the ag competition at Defcon.

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