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Old 04-24-2021, 04:12
SMH17 SMH17 is offline
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What are the alternatives to Binwalk for firmware analysis?

I'm wondering if there are better alternatives to Binwalk to work on reverse engineering of firmware images.
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Old 04-25-2021, 02:02
traf0 traf0 is offline
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you can try

Firmware Analysis Toolkit
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Old 05-31-2021, 21:02
sh3dow sh3dow is offline
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Binwalk is the gold standard for this like IDA pro for binary reversing in its golden days (before Ghidra been released)
But Binwalk is more like PEiD or Exeinfo than firmware reverse engineering tool, it use signature based scan to identify the compression algorithms used by the manufacture and unpack the firmware image, and later evolved over time and improved its arsenal like the ability of ISA identification and entropy Visualization.

There are new tools made to avoid Binwalk's weakness (the signature based scan) by using machine learning. the first tool is ISAdetect, which focuses specifically on identifying the target CPU of the binary file and it's accomplish this using machine learning. the second one is Centrifuge which focuses specifically on visualizing the data in the binary file and give a better understanding of these data (it is far better than Binwalk Visualization function). it use Python plotting libraries to accomplish that, also use DBSCAN algorithm to finds clusters of statistically-similar data which really give a bigger picture for the reverse engineer on what the the binary file include inside its dark world. the the creator of this tool gave two example you can read them to have a better idea on how Centrifuge's data visualization is superior to that of Binwalk and helpful to the reverse engineer.

keep in mind in the two example the creator of this tool made he unpacked the firmware with Binwalk first then proceed to farther analyze it with Centrifuge.

One of Centrifuge's design goals was to assist with firmware analysis, complementing existing tools such as the tried and true `binwalk`.
So in the end these are not replacement but complementing tools to Binwalk.

Originally Posted by traf0 View Post
you can try

"Firmware Analysis Toolkit"
This use Binwalk for extracting and QEMU for emulation, so it's not really an alternative tool.


Right now there is not complete replacement to Binwalk and the territory of firmware analysis/reverse engineering is lacking in its arsenal, it's still not as advanced as computers or cell phones analysis/reverse engineering toolkits, but we hope this will change since near everything now connected through the internet and the IOT is hot topic.

Last edited by sh3dow; 05-31-2021 at 21:35.
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