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Thank The NSA For Their Ghidra Software Now Helping Firmware Reverse Engineering

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  • Thank The NSA For Their Ghidra Software Now Helping Firmware Reverse Engineering

    Phoronix: Thank The NSA For Their Ghidra Software Now Helping Firmware Reverse Engineering

    Ghidra is the open-source reverse engineering tool published by the US National Security Agency as an alternative to existing decompilers/disassemblers and other reverse engineering utilities. As noted earlier this summer, a Google Summer of Code project has been creating Ghidra plug-ins for helping with firmware reverse engineering...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...roject-Success

  • #2
    Binary Blobs? Where we're going, we won't need Binary Blobs.

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    • #3
      Nice try, NSA.

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      • #4
        Ghidra being open sourced is good. However, before softening up for NSA remember that:
        • NSA gets free labor out of open sourcing Ghidra. Besides, there is no good reason for them to keep it closed source anyway. So it is a benefit for them too.
        • NSA is still spying on people, not just within USA, but also internationally. Adding one and subtracting a thousand is still a huge negative.
        With all that aside, it'll be very exciting to see what reverse engineers can accomplish with this tool. We should also be glad that IDA Pro is getting some competition.

        EDIT: IDA Pro + a decompiler for one architecture is £1,136.93 + £3,039.55 (yikes!) No wonder people are pirating it.
        Last edited by board; 09-01-2019, 11:21 AM.

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        • #5
          I absolutely refuse

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          • #6
            Originally posted by davidbepo View Post
            I absolutely refuse
            Me too. They may have developed a useful tool, but its invasiveness on our lifes makes me not want to thank them.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by board View Post
              We should also be glad that IDA Pro is getting some competition..
              Agreed. But there is also OllyDbg (for win32) and radare2 and they never quite managed to shake it off top spot .

              My claim to fame is that I made the original port of radare2 to FreeBSD (I did barely anything, it was already very portable, I just pretty much made the Makefile and dependency list XD).

              Where IDA will still do well is with the plugins (such as stealth to hide against some anti-cracking measures) and scripts to help facilitate automatically unpacking from things like Thinstall, molebox etc.
              Last edited by kpedersen; 09-01-2019, 01:40 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by board View Post
                Ghidra being open sourced is good. However, before softening up for NSA remember that:
                • NSA gets free labor out of open sourcing Ghidra. Besides, there is no good reason for them to keep it closed source anyway. So it is a benefit for them too.
                • NSA is still spying on people, not just within USA, but also internationally. Adding one and subtracting a thousand is still a huge negative.
                With all that aside, it'll be very exciting to see what reverse engineers can accomplish with this tool. We should also be glad that IDA Pro is getting some competition.

                EDIT: IDA Pro + a decompiler for one architecture is £1,136.93 + £3,039.55 (yikes!) No wonder people are pirating it.
                Radare2 is KING! (https://rada.re)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by board View Post
                  [*]NSA is still spying on people, not just within USA, but also internationally. Adding one and subtracting a thousand is still a huge negative.
                  Reality check. Literally all and every nation on Earth, excepting the failed countries like Somalia maybe, are spying on each-other. Degree of activity may differ but I am somehow sure that Chinese or Russian spying efforts are no less than NSA's - somehow for Phoronix moronics NSA is a "popular" bashing subject. But "out of view, out of mind", despite the liberties violated and identical global reach - other and even more repressive agencies in the world do not seem to bother any forum user here. Hypocrites.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by board View Post
                    EDIT: IDA Pro + a decompiler for one architecture is £1,136.93 + £3,039.55 (yikes!) No wonder people are pirating it.
                    If you use IDA to it's full potential you're better off not using the pirated versions. Currently there are no pirated versions > 7.2 on the public internet. It's not easy to get cracked 7.2 to work platforms other than x86_64. In my opinion the price is not unreasonable if you considering the work that has gone into it, that said it won't cost them that much to improve Linux support. There are ways of obtaining legal copies for much less or in some rare cases free. They offer bounty programs to those who have time and talent: https://www.hex-rays.com/bugbounty.shtml

                    A freeware version of IDA v7.0 for Linux, Windows, and Mac exists. It has the following limitations: no commercial use is allowed, lacks all features introduced in IDA > v7.0, lacks support for many processors. file formats. etc..., comes without technical support.

                    From what experts say Ghidra sounds good especially if you're not using Windows. I don't plan on trying it anytime soon though.

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