Channels ▼


Analysis Nirvana Via Stripped Executables and Binaries?

Software-analysis tools company GrammaTech has announced a static-analysis tool for analyzing binary libraries and executables.

More Insights

White Papers

More >>


More >>


More >>

CodeSonar for Binaries works by examining software for security vulnerabilities and malicious code, without the need for source code. It pulls off this trick because the technology does not rely on debug or symbol-table information, so it can examine the stripped executables normally shipped by software vendors.

As a result, CodeSonar for Binaries can perform a security analysis on software without any cooperation from the vendor.

The analysis engine is the result of a 10-year collaboration between GrammaTech and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, involving 21 experts in program analysis and $15 million in research and development (R&D).

"While many software-analysis tools exist, nearly all require source code. Yet end users seldom have access to the source code. CodeSonar for Binaries empowers end users by enabling them to perform a security audit on executables," said Mark Zarins, VP of sales and marketing at GrammaTech. "It analyzes the software that users actually run — the specific machine code to be run on the processor. As a result, CodeSonar for Binaries can detect problems introduced not only by programmers, but also by the compiler and other tools in the development chain."

Market research firm Gartner predicts that "By 2017, IT supply chain integrity will be identified as a top three security-related concern by Global 2000 IT leaders." Gartner's October 2012 report entitled, "Living in a World Without Trust: When IT's Supply Chain Integrity and Online Infrastructure Get Pwned,” outlines the impact of, and extent to which, IT supply chains will be under attack and impaired in the future. According to Gartner, "The use of contaminated software in the creation of a finished software offering, whether inadvertent or intentional, is conceptually no different than the use of contaminated meat to create hamburgers. Both result in a final product that is compromised from creation."

"Disassembly tools have been available for analyzing binaries, but analyzing low-level machine code manually, or even with scripts, is extremely time consuming and not really a scalable approach to identifying vulnerabilities," said Paul Anderson, VP of engineering at GrammaTech. "CodeSonar for Binaries makes it easy to examine large executables rapidly. Furthermore, the tool is fully integrated with GrammaTech's source-code analysis technology, allowing customers to analyze projects that are a combination of source and binary code."

Related Reading

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.