ESET Analysis declares IPyIDA 2.0, a Python plugin integrating IPython and Jupyter Pocket book into IDA
IDA Pro from Hex-Rays might be the preferred instrument in the present day for reverse-engineering software program. For ESET researchers, this instrument is a favourite disassembler and has impressed the event of the IPyIDA plugin that embeds an IPython kernel into IDA Professional. Below steady improvement since 2014, we’re happy to announce the discharge of model 2.0. IPyIDA serves an analogous goal as one other plugin referred to as IDA IPython, however with a twist: whereas IDA IPython solely helps Home windows, IPyIDA helps macOS, Linux, and Home windows.
If you’re already accustomed to IDA Professional and IPython, then skip to the last section of this text on IPyIDA. If you’re unfamiliar with IPython, then skip to the middle section. Lastly, for those who would admire a quick introduction to IDA Professional, then learn on.
What’s IDA Professional?
IDA Professional is a disassembler that interprets machine code to meeting code. After loading a file, IDA Professional disassembles it and shops the evaluation in database recordsdata. IDA Professional gives varied home windows into the database, every uniquely serving to the researcher discover and higher perceive the code of curiosity.
Let’s take a look at just a few of those home windows by loading the MathLibrary.dll file, which may be constructed with Microsoft’s tutorial on creating a DLL file.
The Output window shows messages in regards to the standing of the evaluation of a file, error messages for user-requested operations, and the output from some plugins. Determine 1 reveals the Output window after first loading MathLibrary.dll.
On the backside of this window is an enter area that accepts instructions. Determine 2 reveals the 2 default command language suppliers shipped with IDA since model 7.3: IDC for instructions written in a C-like language native to IDA and the IDAPython plugin for instructions written in Python.
IDA View window
The IDA View window, also called the disassembly window, has two show codecs: graph view and textual content view. Graph view visualizes this system move by dividing features into blocks with a single entry and a single exit level. Determine 3 reveals graph view.
Textual content view offers a linear view of the disassembly that shows digital addresses, meeting code, and feedback. Determine 4 reveals textual content view.
Along with these and the various different home windows that IDA gives, IDA permits you to write customized plugins that stretch its options and remedy sensible reverse-engineering issues. Let’s flip to IPython and a few engaging options it gives reverse engineers who use Python scripts in IDA.
A look at IPython
Whereas IDAPython serves the fundamental wants for operating Python scripts and instructions in IDA, Python lovers have been gripped by IPython fever. IPython is a toolkit that gives a extra interactive expertise with Python. IPython makes use of a two-process mannequin consisting of a kernel and a shopper. The kernel is a course of that receives instructions from the shopper, executes them, and returns the outcomes. The shopper may be any interactive console comparable to Jupyter Console, Jupyter Qt Console, or Jupyter Notebook.
The interactive nature of those shoppers comes from the host of options that they add to the traditional Python shell. Determine 5 reveals utilizing a multiline code block to outline a operate in IPython.
Discover the syntax highlighting of integers, key phrases, built-in features, and strings.
By urgent the Tab key, IPython gives an inventory of related attributes, objects, or features that may full the code. Determine 6 reveals tab completion itemizing features related to a string object.
Tab completion is richer if Jedi is put in.
IPython additionally gives magic features, that are features which are sometimes referred to as with a % or %% prefix and take arguments with a command-line-style syntax. Determine 7 reveals the %timeit magic operate, which occasions the execution of a Python expression.
By utilizing the ! character originally of a command line, the IPython console passes the command to the underlying system shell to be run. For instance, a well-liked command is pip, which installs and manages packages from the Python Package Index (PyPi). Determine 8 reveals the !pip command being run from IPython.
IPython gives many extra interactive options that may be explored within the official documentation.
IPyIDA: Bringing IPython to IDA
With the discharge of IPyIDA 2.0, writing Python scripts in IDA is extra pleasant due to the next benefits:
- Help for IDA on Home windows, Linux, and macOS
- An set up script for simple setup, even in a virtual environment
- A Jupyter Qt Console operating in an IDA window
- An IPython kernel that may hook up with entrance ends, like Jupyter Console, from exterior IDA.
- A Jupyter kernel proxy to help opening a Jupyter Pocket book that connects again to the IPython kernel with the %open_notebook magic operate
Determine 9 reveals the method of opening a Jupyter Pocket book from IPyIDA.
Determine 10 reveals a Jupyter Console operating in a terminal session exterior IDA connecting to the IPython kernel in IDA.
The selection of the Jupyter Qt Console for IPyIDA brings extra interactive options to the standard IPython console, comparable to inline graphics, saving and printing of the present session, and full syntax highlighting. These are illustrated within the official documentation for the Jupyter Qt Console.
IPyIDA even gives its personal interactive options impressed by IDA. Determine 11 reveals that Ctrl-clicking (Cmd-clicking on macOS) on addresses or variable names within the IPython console jumps the view to the digital deal with within the disassembly window.
Determine 12 reveals a hex dump for a byte array with non-ASCII content material.
If you’re new to IDA Professional, IPyIDA is a big support to turning into accustomed to the IDA API. If you’re a veteran, IPyIDA makes Python scripting a lot simpler, and thus the time spent reverse engineering hopefully extra targeted and fruitful.
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