Debug variable resolution

angr now support resolve source level variable (debug variable) in binary with debug information. This article will introduce you how to use it.

Setting up

To use it you need binary that is compiled with dwarf debuging information (ex: gcc -g) and load in angr with the option load_debug_info. After that you need to run project.kb.dvars.load_from_dwarf() to set up the feature and we’re set.

Overall it looks like this:

# compile your binary with debug information
gcc -g -o debug_var debug_var.c
>>> import angr
>>> project = angr.Project('./examples/debug_var/simple_var', load_debug_info = True)
>>> project.kb.dvars.load_from_dwarf()

Core feature

With things now set up you can view the value in the angr memory view of the debug variable within a state with: state.dvars['variable_name'].mem or the value that it point to if it is a pointer with: state.dvars['pointer_name'].deref.mem. Here are some example:

Given the source code in examples/debug_var/simple_var.c


int global_var = 100;
int main(void){
   int a = 10;
   int* b = &a;
   printf("%d\n", *b);
      int a = 24;
      *b = *b + a;
      int c[] = {5, 6, 7, 8};
      printf("%d\n", a);
   return 0;
# Get a state before executing printf(%d\n", *b) (line 7)
# the addr to line 7 is 0x401193 you can search for it with
>>> project.loader.main_object.addr_to_line
>>> addr = 0x401193
# Create an simulation manager and run to that addr
>>> simgr = project.factory.simgr()
>>> simgr.explore(find = addr)
<SimulationManager with 1 found>
>>> state = simgr.found[0]
# Resolve 'a' in state
>>> state.dvars['a'].mem
<int (32 bits) <BV32 0xa> at 0x7fffffffffeff30>
# Dereference pointer b
>>> state.dvars['b'].deref.mem
<int (32 bits) <BV32 0xa> at 0x7fffffffffeff30>
# It works as expected when resolving the value of b gives the address of a
>>> state.dvars['b'].mem
<reg64_t <BV64 0x7fffffffffeff30> at 0x7fffffffffeff38>

Side-note: For string type you can use .string instead of .mem to resolve it. For struct type you can resolve its member by .member("member_name").mem. For array type you can use .array(index).mem to access the element in array.

Variable visibility

If you have many variable with the same name but in different scope, calling state.dvars['var_name'] would resolve the variable with the nearest scope.


# Find the addr before executing printf("%d\n", a) (line 12)
# with the same method to find addr
>>> addr = 0x4011e0
# Explore until find state
>>> simgr.move(from_stash='found', to_stash='active')
<SimulationManager with 1 active>
>>> simgr.explore(find = addr)
<SimulationManager with 1 found>
>>> state = simgr.found[0]
# Resolve 'a' in state before execute line 10
>>> state.dvars['a'].mem
<int (32 bits) <BV32 0x18> at 0x7fffffffffeff34>

Congratulation, you’ve now know how to resolve debug variable using angr, for more info check out the api-doc.