Repeatable Reverse Engineering with PANDA
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Lexington United States
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We present PANDA, an open-source tool that has been purpose-built to support whole system reverse engineering. It is built upon the QEMU whole system emulator, and so analyses have access to all code executing in the guest and all data. PANDA adds the ability to record and replay executions, enabling iterative, deep, whole system analyses. Further, the replay log files are compact and shareable, allowing for repeatable experiments. A nine billion instruction boot of FreeBSD, e.g., is represented by only a few hundred MB. PANDA leverages QEMUs support of thirteen different CPU architectures to make analyses of those diverse instruction sets possible within the LLVM IR. In this way, PANDA can have a single dynamic taint analysis, for example, that precisely supports many CPUs. PANDA analyses are written in a simple plugin architecture which includes a mechanism to share functionality between plugins, increasing analysis code re-use and simplifying complex analysis development. We demonstrate PANDAs effectiveness via a number of use cases, including enabling an old but legitimately purchased game to run despite a lost CD key, in-depth diagnosis of an Internet Explorer crash, and uncovering the censorship activities and mechanisms of an IM client.
- Computer Systems Management and Standards