Didier Stevens

Monday 21 October 2019

Quickpost: ExifTool, OLE Files and FlashPix Files

Filed under: Forensics,maldoc,Malware,Quickpost — Didier Stevens @ 0:00

ExifTool can misidentify VBA macro files as FlashPix files.

The binary file format of Office documents (.doc, .xls) uses the Compound File Binary Format, what I like to refer as OLE files. These files can be analyzed with my tool oledump.py.

Starting with Office 2007, the default file format (.docx, .docm, .xlsx, …) is Office Open XML: OOXML. It’s in essence a ZIP container with XML files inside. However, VBA macros inside OOXML files (.docm, .xlsm) are not stored as XML files, they are still stored inside an OLE file: the ZIP container contains a file with name vbaProject.bin. That is an OLE file containing the VBA macros.

This can be observed with my zipdump.py tool:

oledump.py can look inside the ZIP container to analyze the embedded vbaProject.bin file:

And of course, it can handle an OLE file directly:

When ExifTool is given a vbaProject.bin file for analysis, it will misidentify it as a picture file: a FlashPix file.

That’s because when ExifTool doesn’t have enough metadata or an identifying extension to identify an OLE file, it will fall back to FlashPix file detection. That’s because FlashPix files are also based on the OLE file format, and AFAIK ExifTool started out as an image tool:

That is why on VirusTotal, vbaProject.bin files from OOXML files with macros, will be misidentified as FlashPix files:

When the extension of a vbaProject.bin file is changed to .doc, ExifTool will misidentify it as a Word document:

ExifTool is not designed to identify VBA macro files (vbaProject.bin). These files are not Office documents, neither pictures. But since they are also OLE files, ExifTool tries to guess what they are, based on the extension, and if that doesn’t help, it falls back to the FlashPix file format (based on OLE).

There’s no “bug” to fix, you just need to be aware of this particular behavior of ExifTool: it is a tool to extract information from media formats, when it analyses an OLE file and doesn’t have enough metadata/proper file extension, it will fall back to FlashPix identification.


Quickpost info

Sunday 20 October 2019

New Tool: simple_tcp_stats.py

Filed under: My Software,Networking — Didier Stevens @ 10:25

My new tool simple_tcp_stats.py is a Python program that reads pcap files and produces simple statistics for each TCP connection.

For the moment, it calculates the entropy of the data (without packet reassembling) of each TCP connection (both directions) and reports this with a CSV file:

ConnectionID;head;Size;Entropy;’GET ‘;364;5.42858024035;’GET ‘;426;5.46464090792;’HTTP’;3308;6.06151478505;’HTTP’;493;6.73520107812


simple_tcp_stats_V0_0_1.zip (https)
MD5: 606DB4208BBC5908D9F32A68DDF90AC6
SHA256: 68B275C58736AE450D23BEA82CC1592936E541E00726D8ED95F5CA8ACB02B7CE

Tuesday 15 October 2019

PowerShell, Add-Type & csc.exe

Filed under: .NET,Forensics — Didier Stevens @ 0:00

Have you ever noticed that some PowerShell scripts result in the execution of the C# compiler csc.exe?

This happens when a PowerShell script uses cmdlet Add-Type.

Like in this command:

powershell -Command “Add-Type -TypeDefinition \”public class Demo {public int a;}\””

This command just adds the definition of a class (Demo) with one member (a).

When this Add-Type cmdlet is executed, the C# compiler is invoked by PowerShell to compile this class definition (a C# program) into an assembly (DLL) with the .NET type to be used by the PowerShell script.

A temporary file (oj5zlfcy.cmdline in this example) is created inside folder %appdata%\local\temp with extension .cmdline. This is passed as argument to the invoked C# compiler csc.exe, and contains directions to compile a C# program (oj5zlfcy.0.cs):

/t:library /utf8output /R:”System.dll” /R:”C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.Net\assembly\GAC_MSIL\System.Management.Automation\v4.0_3.0.0.0__31bf3856ad364e35\System.Management.Automation.dll” /R:”System.Core.dll” /out:”C:\Users\testuser1\AppData\Local\Temp\oj5zlfcy.dll” /debug- /optimize+ /warnaserror /optimize+ “C:\Users\testuser1\AppData\Local\Temp\oj5zlfcy.0.cs”

The C# program (oj5zlfcy.0.cs in this example) contains the class definition passed as argument to cmdlet Add-Type:

public class Demo {public int a;}

Both these files start with a UTF-8 BOM (EF BB BF).

The C# compiler (csc.exe) can invoke compilation tools when necessary, like the resource compiler cvtres.exe.

This results in the creation of several temporary files:

All these files are removed when cmdlet Add-Type terminates.


Wednesday 2 October 2019

Shark Jack Capture File

Filed under: Hardware,Networking — Didier Stevens @ 0:00

I have a new toy: a “Shark Jack“. It’s a small device sold by Hak5 that performs a nmap scan (-sP) when plugged into a network port (that’s the default “payload”).

In this blog post, I’m sharing the network capture of a scan performed in this “test environment”:

The device (small black box, almost square) between the Shark Jack (SJ) and the router is my “Packet Squirrel”: a simple network capture device.

A couple of observations:

  1. The SJ was tested with its original firmware (1.0.0)
  2. The SJ will randomize its MAC address
  3. The SJ performs 2 full DHCP handshakes prior to the nmap scan
  4. The SJ listens on port 53 (tcp and udp) using dnsmasq (observed while scanning)

Example of different MAC addresses after before and after reboot:

root@shark:~# ifconfig
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 2E:AF:43:F2:3E:22
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:


root@shark:~# ifconfig
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 86:72:96:71:C3:3C
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:


And it can get quite hot while charging, as can be observed in this thermal image:

shark_jack_capture.zip (https)
MD5: 9E5C1187D64A6EC7284C06464E791F01
SHA256: 5153F5C7B559BEC1539B0395F97C5852064D7ED9309B837F11A9381EA6ED4C88

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Overview of Content Published in September

Filed under: Announcement — Didier Stevens @ 0:00

Here is an overview of content I published in September:

Blog posts:

YouTube videos:

Videoblog posts:

SANS ISC Diary entries:

NVISO blog posts:

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