Debugger Debugging Madness2005-11-02

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Recently, I was setting up a new installation of IDA and decided to document all of my customizations for ease of portability. I am curious to hear about what other customizations people use / have come across. Should make for an interesting dialog. Here are the customizations I use:

---------- ida.idc ----------

static main(void) {

// This function is executed when IDA is started.
// Add statements to fine-tune your IDA here.

    AddHotkey("Ctrl-Shift-X",     "export_disassembly");
    AddHotkey("Ctrl-Shift-J",     "jump_to_func_top");
    AddHotkey("Ctrl-Shift-Enter", "track_follow");
    AddHotkey("Ctrl-Shift-N",     "track_name");

---------- ida.cfg ----------
Some of these customizations were gleaned from Nicolas Brulez

// This prefix is used when a new
// name is generated
// changed this from 'a' to 'str->'
ASCII_PREFIX = "str->"

// Maximal length of new names
// (you may specify values up to 511)
// increased this to 128

// asm specific character, added '-' and '>'
NameChars = "$?@->"

SHOW_XREFS        = 4
SHOW_SP           = YES

---------- idagui.cfg ----------

// Display the Edit,Patch submenu

// Display the expressions/IDC command line

// display referenced items
"ChartXrefsTo"   = "Ctrl-Shift-T"

// display referencing items
"ChartXrefsFrom" = "Ctrl-Shift-F"

// lock the current highlighted text
"LockHighlight"  = "Ctrl-H"

All of the above referenced files are available from my file respository on OpenRCE.

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IDA Disassembly and Graph Coloring2005-09-20

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ToorCon was awesome. This was my first time out to that con (as well as San Diego for that matter) and it more then lived up to expectations. The venue was good, the weather was great and the party was successful, thanks in no small part due to a financial contribution from Microsoft I'm sure.

There were a number of good talks there. Among the more unique/interesting was Skape's presentation on "temporal return addresses" and Christopher Abad's talk where he cracked basic crypto with Photoshop and demo-ed a multi-color ASCII "video" streamer he wrote. Some of Christopher's work can be found at

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IDA Customizations2005-08-01

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Still recovering from a week in Vegas. I have a new founded respect for teachers/professors. The two day intermediate malware analysis course I gave put my voice out of commission. I don't know how it's possible to maintain that for months on end. Talking over loud music definetely didn't help the situation. Vegas was a blast. Caught some good talks at Blackhat, put a lot of faces to names at the various parties- the most amazing of which was the 3Com/TippingPoint party held on Wednesday night at the Hard Rock. There must have been almost a thousand people there and the place was out of control. Who would have guessed that the dance floor of a security conference party would ever fill up. In my (currently unbiased) opinion this party was the best of the week.

Speaking of currently unbiased. I will be transitioning to TippingPoint over the balance of this month and am excited about the career change. Once I get settled in I will start tackling the long list of feature requests for OpenRCE. Including: adding an events section, the ability to edit posts, a new (and very cool) reference library feature that Greg Hoglund may potentially contribute, blog comments etc...

The re-architecting and development of IDA Sync will follow shortly after the updates to OpenRCE. Once the ground work is laid out I will poll the users via the forums for comments, criticisms and suggestions.

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