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 […]
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 can […]
Hints (aka tooltips) are popup windows with text which appear when you hover the mouse cursor over a particular item in IDA. They are available in many situations.
In one of the previous posts, we’ve discussed how to edit types of functions and variables used in the pseudocode. In most cases, you can use the standard C types: char, int, long and so on. However, there may be situations where you need a more specific type. Decompiler may also generate such types […]
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 […]
Previously we’ve covered how to start using the decompiler, but unmodified decompiler output is not always easy to read, especially if the binary doesn’t have symbols or debug information. However, with just a few small amendments you can improve the results substantially. Let’s look at some basic interactive operations available in the pseudocode view. Renaming Although […]
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 […]
Last week we released IDA 6.2 and Hex-Rays Decompiler 1.6. Many of the new IDA features have been described in previous posts, but there have been notable additions in the decompiler as well. They will let you make the decompilation cleaner and closer to the original source. However, it might be not very obvious how […]