PicoCTF_2017: Programmers Assemble

Category: Reverse Engineering Points: 75 Description:

You found a text file with some really low level code. Some value at the beginning has been X'ed out. Can you figure out what should be there, to make main return the value 0x1? Submit the answer as a hexidecimal number, with no extraneous 0s. For example, the decimal number 2015 would be submitted as 0x7df, not 0x000007df


All of the commands can be found here along with what they do. It may be useful to be able to run the code, with test values.


So, first assembly challenge done. We are given an assembly piece of code and let's identify what each part does.

.global main                ; start main

    mov $XXXXXXX, %eax.     ; move XXXXXXX into EAX 
    mov $0, %ebx            ; move 0 into EBX
    mov $0x7, %ecx          ; move 7 into ECX
    test %eax, %eax         ; if eax is 0
    jz fin                  ; jump to finish
    add %ecx, %ebx          ; else, add ecx to ebx
    dec %eax                ; decrement eax
    jmp loop                ; loop back
    cmp $0xb47f, %ebx       ; if ebx = 46207,
    je good                 ; jump to good
    mov $0, %eax            ; else, move 0 return value to eax
    jmp end                 ; jump to return
    mov $1, %eax            ; move 1 return value to eax
    ret                     ; exit

Simple! We want the file to return 0x1, so we naturally want good: to execute. However, for good to execute, we need %ebx to equal 46207 or 0xb47f. The only way %ebx is actually incremented is by %ecx, whom adds 0x7 everytime the loop loops.

So, how do we get %ebx up to 46207? Simple! We just have to loop 46207 / 7 = 6601 times! So, XXXXXXX has to be 6601! Converting 6601 to hex gives us 0x19C9

Therefore, the flag is 0x19C9.