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Disassemble binaries and recover as much info as possible

This project was created by Louis Merlin in Spring 2021 as part of his master thesis at HexHive, with a fellowship from the armasuisse Cyber-Defense Campus.

How to use

Run on you binary

To run this tool on your own binary, first you must install dis-cover, as well as elfutils and binutils.

pip install dis-cover
apt install elfutils binutils # or whatever your version of this is

Then, you can run it to analyze your binary, for example /bin/gold.

dis-cover /bin/gold

This will create a reconstructed elf file in your current directory. This binary will contain symbols and dwarf information describing the classes and hierarchies that dis-cover was able to find.


You can install dis-cover by running pip install dis-cover.

Here are the CLI options :

usage: dis-cover [-h] [-d OUTPUT_DIRECTORY] [-p PICKLE] [-o OUTPUT_FILE] [-l] [-g GRAPH] file

Disasemble binaries and recover as much info as possible

positional arguments:
  file                  ELF file to dis-cover

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
                        Directory where the temporary files are written (default "/tmp")
  -p PICKLE, --pickle PICKLE
                        Output classes in the pickle format into PICKLE.
  -o OUTPUT_FILE, --output-file OUTPUT_FILE
                        File where the reconstructed binary should be written (default "./reconstructed")
  -l, --list-classes    List the classes found in the binary
  -g GRAPH, --graph GRAPH
                        Place a .dot file (used to create a Graphviz graph) into GRAPH.

Creating a graph from the class hierarchy

With the -g option, you can output a ".dot" file.

Using the graphviz package, you can then create an SVG graph using the command :

dot -Tsvg -o graph.svg

How to use the development version

If you would like to make modifications to this tools and use that modified version, simply clone this repository and run this command in this directory:

pip install -e .

Possible extensions of this tool

  • Look into .debug-pubtypes section
  • Verify objcopy and eu-unstrip outputs (priority: medium)
  • Add better error handling and more helpful messages (priority: medium)
  • Set NOBIT flag in the section headers (priority: low)
  • Find a way to compute the size of the classes (priority: low)