|Dates:||March 6-8, 2023 (3 days)|
|Price:||2500 EUR before January 1, 2023; 2800 EUR after|
|Register:||Nullcon Berlin 2023|
|Dates:||April 17-20, 2023 (4 days)|
|Register:||HITB Amsterdam 2023|
Code obfuscation has become a vital tool to protect, for example, intellectual property against competitors. In general, it attempts to impede program understanding by making the to-be-protected program more complex. As a consequence, a human analyst reasoning about the obfuscated code has to overcome this barrier by transforming it into a representation that is easier to understand.
In this training, we get to know state-of-the-art code obfuscation techniques and look at how these complicate reverse engineering. Afterwards, we gradually familiarize ourselves with different deobfuscation techniques and use them to break obfuscation schemes in hands-on sessions. Thereby, participants will deepen their knowledge of program analysis and learn when and how (not) to use different techniques.
First, we have a look at important code obfuscation techniques and discuss how to attack them. Afterwards, we analyze a virtual machine-based (VM-based) obfuscation scheme, learn about VM hardening techniques and how to tackle them.
In the second part, we cover SMT-based program analysis. In detail, students learn how to solve program analysis problems with SMT solvers, how to prove characteristics of code, how to deobfuscate mixed Boolean-Arithmetic and how to break weak cryptography.
Before we use symbolic execution to automate large parts of code deobfuscation, we first introduce intermediate languages and compiler optimizations to simplify industrial-grade obfuscation schemes. Following, we use symbolic execution to automate SMT-based program analysis and break opaque predicates. Finally, we learn how to write disassemblers for virtualization-based obfuscators and how to reconstruct the original code.
The last part covers program synthesis, an approach to simplify code based on its semantic behavior. After collecting input-output pairs from binary code, we not only learn how to simplify large expression trees, but also how we can verify the correctness of simplifications. Then, we use program synthesis to deobfuscate mixed Boolean-Arithmetic and learn the semantics of VM instruction handlers.
Note that the training focuses on hands-on sessions. While some lecture parts provide an understanding of when to use which method, various hands-on sessions teach how to use them to build custom purpose tools for one-off problems. The trainer actively supports the students to successfully solve the given tasks. After a task is completed, we discuss different solutions in class. Furthermore, students receive detailed reference solutions that can be used during and after the course.
While the hands-on sessions use x86 assembly, all tools and techniques can also be applied to other architectures such as MIPS, PPC or ARM.
The training orientates at the following outline:
Introduction to Code (De)obfuscation
Code Obfuscation Techniques
Code Deobfuscation Techniques
SMT-based Program Analysis
“My objective to take this training is learning fuzzing related techniques such as symbolic execution and obfuscation techniques for creating payload for red teaming. I feel this training met my requirement, so this training is can be recommended to offensive side security engineers.”
“It is very difficult to fault any component of this course, its appears as a very mature and well refined project. Tim is clearly very passionate on the subjects and that is portrayed through the material and delivery.”
“This course is very polished. I can’t think of anything that could be improved.”
“I would definitely recommend this class to any reverse engineers wanting to advance their skills, and I would attend other classes by this trainer.”
“I found the background given on the first day to be very useful. I very much enjoyed learning about the SMT solvers and symbolic execution, and I thought it was very good that we were shown how to use them together to solve problems. I found all the tasks and code examples very helpful too.”
“He’s still young and already very knowledgeable on the subject.”
“I would absolutely recommend others take this class or any other classes taught by Tim.”
“I found all of it very interesting. The most useful parts to me were the coding/reversing exercises. That really helps to cement my understanding of the topics discussed.”
The participants should have basic reverse engineering skills. Furthermore, they should be familiar with x86 assembly and Python.
Students should have access to a computer with 4 GB RAM (minimum) and at least 20 GB disk space. Furthermore, they should install a disassembler of their choice (e.g., IDA or Ghidra) as well as virtualization software such as Virtual Box or VMware. Students will be provided with a Linux VM containing all necessary tools and setups.
Tim Blazytko is a well-known binary security researcher and co-founder of emproof. After working on novel methods for code deobfuscation, fuzzing and root cause analysis during his PhD, Tim now builds code obfuscation schemes tailored to embedded devices. Moreover, he gives trainings on reverse engineering & code deobfuscation, analyzes malware and performs security audits.