IDArling is a collaborative reverse engineering plugin for IDA Pro and Hex-Rays. It allows to synchronize in real-time the changes made to an IDA database by multiple IDA users, by connecting together different instances of IDA Pro.
It works by hooking certain IDA events generated by one user in IDA and propagating the detected changes to other IDA users through a server architecture. It supports working from a given snapshot with changes done by other IDA users re-applied to every other user loading the same snapshot.
This project is under active development. Feel free to send a PR if you would like to help! :-)
It is stable enough to be used in its current state, but be aware of the features IDArling does not support before using it so you can save a new snapshot to work around the limitations (see below).
Note: this is a fork of https://github.com/IDArlingTeam/IDArling. The IDArlingTeam version supports IDA 7.0+ and Python2/3. Our fork only supports the latest version of IDA Pro (7.5 atm) and Python 3 but has more features.
Note: if you migrate from IDArlingTeam installation, you are advised to backup your old IDBs and start from a fresh new server. This is because we had to break backward compability to add certain features.
There are two different use cases:
- IDA Pro used for both the IDArling client (IDA Pro plugin) and IDArling server, by using the "Integrated Server". You can ignore the "Server-side" installation.
- IDA Pro used for the IDArling clients and a remote IDArling server known as "Standalone Server" or "Dedicated Server". You can refer to the "Server-side" and "Client-side" installation
Python3 is required.
The IDArling server is run on a remote system from the command-line. Generally
./idarling_server.py --no-ssl is sufficient. A more advanced invocation is:
python3 idarling_server.py -h 192.168.1.1 -p 12345 --no-ssl -l DEBUG
The latest version of IDA Pro (7.5 atm) with IDA Python 3 is supported.
Install the IDArling client into the IDA plugins folder.
idarlingfolder to the IDA plugins folder.
- On Windows, the folder is at
C:\Program Files\IDA 7.x\plugins
- On macOS, the folder is at
/Applications/IDA Pro 7.x/idabin/plugins
- On Linux, the folder may be at
- On Windows, the folder is at
- Alternatively, you can use the IDAUSR folder such as
C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Hex-Rays\IDA Pro\pluginson Windows.
- Alternatively, you can use the "easy install" method by copying the following line into the console:
import urllib2; exec(urllib2.urlopen('https://raw.githubusercontent.com/fidgetingbits/IDArling/master/easy_install.py')).read()
To enable the integrated server, you can choose "Integrated Server" after right-clicking the IDArling widget located in the status bar.
The integrated server requires PyQt5, which is integrated into IDA. If you're
using an external Python installation, we recommand using Python 3, which offers
a pre-built package that can be installed with a simple
pip install PyQt5.
Connection to server and usage
Open the "Settings" dialog accessible from the right-clicking the IDArling widget located in the status bar. Show the servers list by clicking on the "Network Settings" tabs and add your server to it. Connect to the server by clicking on it after right-clicking the widget again. Finally, you should be able to access the following menus to upload or download a database:
- File --> Open from server
- File --> Save to server
The main features of IDArling (advertised originally) are:
- hooking general user events
- structure and enumeration support
- Hex-Rays decompiler syncing
- replay engine and auto-saving
- database loading and saving
- interactive status bar widget
- user cursors (instructions, functions, navbar)
- invite and following an user moves
- dedicated server using Qt5
- integrated server within IDA
- LAN servers discovery
- following an user moves in real time
In order to understand what change is actually synced vs not synced, it is worth mentioning some implementation details.
We like to define the following terms in the IDArling jargon:
- project: a project corresponds to a researched topic such as a given CVE, malware family, etc. regrouping several binary files
- binary file: a binary file corresponds to a given file to analyse (i.e. unique SHA-256 hash)
- database snapshot: a database snapshot is a snapshot of an IDB as a given time. It is used as a baseline to apply any change made from this snapshot by any other IDA user
In general, the first thing is to create a project for the research topic you are
starting. Then, you create a binary file to analyse a given file with a unique hash (e.g.
on Windows 10 1809 x64 from May 2019) and then you create one initial database snapshot and
save the current IDB as that snapshot on the server.
All the changes made for this IDB can live in the same saved snapshot as long as all the changes you do are synced by IDArling. However, if there are some major changes that are not synced by IDArling, you need to create an additional snapshot to save these changes and all users SHOULD then use that particular snapshot.
In general, it is better to always start from the latest snapshot for a given binary file when you start working from the IDArling server, except if you know what you are doing.
Another important detail of IDArling is that it stores in the IDB itself the project, binary file and database snapshot that was used when saving the IDB onto the server. Because of that, it is possible to open a local copy of a given IDB that was previously used with IDArling and the IDArling plugin will recognise what snapshot this IDB is part of.
If you decide to save an IDB to a new snapshot, you are NOT REQUIRED to then close the IDB and open the new snapshot that you have just saved. You can keep working from your existing already-opened IDB. This is because the new project, binary file and database snapshot are automatically updated in your local copy of the IDB. The only exception to this would be if someone else simultaneously saved their own IDB and uploaded a new snapshot and you want to use that snapshot.
Known changes already synced by IDArling
The changes are indicated as "ticks" in the IDArling plugin jaron.
In general, the changes applied to a given snapshot are retrieved the next time you open the particular snapshot as the events will be propagated to the base IDB or your local copy.
- Syncs variable names in Hex-Rays
- Syncs comments in Hex-Rays
- Syncs function prototype edits in both IDA and Hex-Rays
- Syncs integer type (hex / integer / binary / enum) changes in both IDA and Hex-Rays
- Manually creating an enum and pasting in the code will actually sync across IDBs
Note: the above list is not up-to-date and needs to be updated.
Known changes not currently synced by IDArling
These changes typically require you to create a new database (i.e. snapshot, as explained above) so you don't lose your changes. It is typically the case for actions that do not generate events that IDArling can catch and propagate.
We are tracking in 2 categories the issues on our github repository:
- Fatal non-propagated features: These are features of IDA that are not propagated over IDArling that potentially corrupt the IDB. An example would be if new types were not created properly. If it were the case, it means all actions that depend on the types existing would be broken, e.g. decompiler/disassembler output that relies on these structures, etc.
- Non-propagated features: These are features of IDA that are not propagated over IDArling but do not risk corrupting the IDB. An example would be if bookmarks were not propagated. It is not the case but if it were, only bookmarks would be missing and all the other contents from the IDBs would still be sane.
Note that some of the issues have been marked as "won't fix" and closed as atm we don't think they are worth fixing but feel free to add comments if you disagree.
This project is inspired by Sol[IDA]rity. It started after contacting its authors and asking if it was ever going to be released to the public. Lighthouse source code was also carefully studied to understand how to write better IDA plugins.
- Previous plugins, namely CollabREate, IDASynergy, YaCo, were studied during the development process;
- The icons are edited and combined versions from the sites freeiconshop.com and www.iconsplace.com.
Thanks to Quarkslab for allowing this release.
- Alexandre Adamski <email@example.com>
- Joffrey Guilbon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Cedric Halbronn (@saidelike)
- Aaron Adams (@FidgetingBits)
If you have any questions not worthy of a bug report, feel free to ping us at #idarling on freenode and ask away.