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[vox-tech] late night musings: stripping
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[vox-tech] late night musings: stripping

there's no point to this post, other than to share some things i found
interesting while playing around with some code last night.

here's some code that i compiled WITHOUT an enhanced symbol table:

   #include <stdio.h>
   void myfunction(void);

   int main(void)
      return 0;

   void myfunction(void)
      printf("hello world\n");

i can still set a breakpoint at main, since that's a libc thing.  every
program has a main function, even ones that don't have a main function
are given a main function (like fortran):

   (gdb) break main
   Breakpoint 1 at 0x804836a
   (gdb) run
   Starting program: /home/p/stuff/hello2 

   Breakpoint 1, 0x0804836a in main ()
   (gdb) stepi
   0x0804836d in main ()
   0x08048372 in main ()
   0x08048374 in main ()
   0x08048380 in myfunction ()
   0x08048381 in myfunction ()
   0x08048383 in myfunction ()
   0x08048386 in myfunction ()
   0x0804838d in myfunction ()
   0x08048288 in printf ()

i found it odd that gdb has any concept of what i name my functions when
i don't specify -g.  but it obviously does:

   (gdb) info functions 
   All defined functions:

   Non-debugging symbols:
   0x08048250  _init
   0x08048278  __libc_start_main
   0x08048288  printf
   0x080482c4  call_gmon_start
   0x080482f0  __do_global_dtors_aux
   0x08048330  frame_dummy
   0x08048364  main
   0x08048380  myfunction
   0x080483a0  __libc_csu_init
   0x08048400  __libc_csu_fini
   0x08048450  __i686.get_pc_thunk.bx
   0x08048460  __do_global_ctors_aux
   0x08048490  _fini

although i didn't compile the function with "-g", file reports the
executable as unstripped:

   p@satan$ file hello2
   hello2: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), for
   GNU/Linux 2.2.0, dynamically linked (uses shared libs), not stripped

so let's strip it:

   p@satan$ strip hello2

function names are gone:

   p@satan$ gdb hello2
   (no debugging symbols found)...(gdb) 
   (gdb) info functions 
   All defined functions:

   Non-debugging symbols:
   0x08048278  __libc_start_main
   0x08048288  printf

i'm not sure what stripped is, but my little experiment certainly hints
at what it is.

i have mathematica installed on my system (legally).  it is statically
linked and unstripped.

i also have the intel fortran compiler on my system (legally).  it is
unstripped and dynamically linked.  it's also protected by a license
manager called flexlm (which i've had many bad experiences with.  i've
had other software (legally) where flexlm decided to stop working out of
the blue, and at the worst possible moments).  it SHOULD be possible to
be be able to step through compiler, figure out the flexlm function that
grants access to the program and NOP it out.

not that i would do that.  i believe this would be illegal under the
DMCA.  and i have the compiler installed on my system legally.  but it
is an interesting thought.

yet another thing to put on my google/reading list....


ps- the intel compiler / debugger is non-free (it's free as in beer, not
free as in liberty) but very good.  i've been able to get DDD to use
intel's debugger (idb) as a backend.  it's not perfect, but it works
well enough.

although it doesn't "support" debian, i was able to install it within
minutes.  a combination of "alien" and looking at some bash scripts to
discover where certain directories are made it a snap to install.

Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.  -- Albert Einstein
GPG Instructions: http://www.dirac.org/linux/gpg
GPG Fingerprint: B9F1 6CF3 47C4 7CD8 D33E 70A9 A3B9 1945 67EA 951D
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