Igor’s tip of the week #56: String literals in pseudocode

Strings in binaries are very useful for the reverse engineer: they often contain messages shown to the user, or sometimes even internal debugging information (function or variable names) and so having them displayed in the decompiled code is very helpful. However, sometimes you may see named variables in pseudocode even though the disassembly shows the string […]

Igor’s tip of the week #54: Shifted pointers

Previously we briefly mentioned shifted pointers but without details. What are they? Shifted pointers is another custom extension to the C syntax. They are used by IDA and decompiler to represent a pointer to an object with some offset or adjustment (positive or negative). Let’s see how they work and several situations where they […]

Igor’s tip of the week #43: Annotating the decompiler output

Last week we started improving decompilation of a simple function. While you can go quite far with renaming and retyping, some things need more explanation than a simple renamng could provide. Comments When you can’t come up with a good name for a variable or a function, you can add a comment with an explanation or […]

Igor’s tip of the week #40: Decompiler basics

The Hex-Rays decompiler is one of the most powerful add-ons available for IDA. While it’s quite intuitive once you get used to it, it may be non-obvious how to start using it. Basic information As of the time of writing (May 2021), the decompiler is not included with the standard IDA Pro license; some editions of IDA […]

Igor’s tip of the week #18: Decompiler and global cross-references

Previously we’ve covered cross-references in the disassembly view but in fact you can also consult them in the decompiler (pseudocode) view. Local cross-references The most common shortcut (X) works similarly to disassembly: you can use it on labels, variables (local and global), function names, but there are some differences and additions: for local variables, the list […]

Igor’s tip of the week #08: Batch mode under the hood

We’ve briefly covered batch mode last time but the basic functionality is not always enough so let’s discuss how to customize it. Basic usage To recap, the batch mode can be invoked with this command line: ida -B -Lida.log <other switches> <filename> IDA will load the file, wait for the end of analysis, and write the full disassembly to <filename>.asm How it […]