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Reverse Engineering of ARM Binaries Using Formal Transformations
Citation key PHS2014
Author Tobias Pfeffer and Paula Herber and Jörg Schneider
Title of Book The 7th International Conference on Security of Information and Networks
Year 2014
Location Glasgow, UK
Month 9
How Published accepted
Abstract Understanding the behavior of a program when no source code is available tends to be a complicated and time-expensive task. In this paper, we present a novel approach for reverse engineering of ARM binaries. The main idea is to translate the original assembler representation into a formal intermediate representation language, namely WSL, and then to apply rephrasing transformations to the code. To achieve a highly modular translation, we define a rule set to translate each assembler instruction individually. Furthermore, new rephrasing rules were developed to recover high level control flow aspects and to eliminate assembler specific program fragments in the intermediate code. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach through the successful recovery of high level control flow statements in the Debian coreutils binaries. Using these example binaries, we studied the performance and the quality of our transformation.
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