Reverse Engineering Malware on Linux with IDA Pro

The brief method. If I get good response to this post, I will put up a more detailed and in-depth look at malware reversing on Linux.

* Download IDA Pro (freeware)
* Install wine
* Install IDA Pro
* Start reversing

Download IDA Pro (freeware):
$ cd /tmp
$ wget

Install wine:
$ sudo aptitude install wine

Install IDA Pro:
$ wine /tmp/idafree49.exe

Start reversing:
$ wine "~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/IDA Free/idag.exe"
-> Now open the malware binary and select the option for ELF executables

This post is a stub for a future longer version if anyone shows interest. I don't even know how many Linux Journal readers actually reverse malware on Linux...


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


slowpoison's picture

I need to see more!

I need it too!

Kamal Wickramanayake's picture

Count me in.

I want to see a more

Gullit's picture

I want to see a more detailed and in-depth look at malware reversing on Linux too!

Thanks in advance!

Count me in(terested)

EdT.'s picture

I am definitely interested in the in-depth version!


the linux part is irrelevant

b0ne's picture

Reverse engineering malware with IDA is the same regardless of which platform you use, especially if you are using WINE and IDA v4.9 free. There is a linux native version of IDA, except that it is commercial only.

Either way, you are still going to need a virtualbox/vmware/etc virtualization image of Windows XP SP2 or newer in order to effectively unpack most malware using a debugger.

I dont see why you think a

Kristian Erik Hermansen's picture

I dont see why you think a windows installation is necessary to unpack linux ELF obfuscated binaries :-)

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState