Hex Rays IDA Pro Advanced 2 Computer Licenses (Linux)
Hex-Rays continues to develop and support the IDA Pro disassembler. This famous software analysis tool, which is a de-facto standard in the software security industry, is an indispensable item in the toolbox of any serious software analyst. Hex-Rays will continue to maintain IDA Pro and ensure its continuous evolution.
IDA Pro is a Windows or Linux or Mac OS X hosted multi-processor disassembler and debugger that offers so many features it is hard to describe them all. Just grab an evaluation version if you want a test drive. An executive summary is provided for the non-technical user.
The official line is: IDA Pro combines an interactive, programmable, multi-processor
disassembler coupled to a local and remote debugger and augmented by a complete plugin
programming environment. Quite a mouthful, isn't it? We are aware that the above speaks only to
geeks. The “raison d'etre” of this small document is to clarify the nature and the purpose of IDA to
the non-technical user.
IDA Pro is a disassembler
As a disassembler, IDA Pro explores binary programs, for which source code isn't always available,
to create maps of their execution. The real interest of a disassembler is that it shows the instructions that are
actually executed by the processor in a symbolic representation called assembly language. If the friendly
screen saver you have just installed is spying on your e-banking session or logging your e-mails, a
disassembler can reveal it. However, assembly language is hard to make sense of. That's why advanced
techniques have been implemented into IDA Pro to make that code more readable, in some cases, quite close
to the original source code that produced the binary program. The map of the program's code then be
postprocessed for further investigations. Some people have used it as the root of a genomic classification of
IDA Pro is a debugger
But, in real life, things aren't always simple. Hostile code usually does not cooperate with the
analyst. Viruses, worms and trojans are often armored and obfuscated. More powerful tools are required.
The debugger in IDA Pro complements the static analysis capabilities of the disassembler: by allowing to
single step through the code being investigated, the debugger often bypasses the obfuscation and helps obtain
data that the more powerful static disassembler will be able to process in depth. IDA Pro can be used as a
local and as a remote debugger on various platforms, including the ubiquitous 80x86 (typically
indows/Linux) and the ARM platform (typically Windows CE PDAs) and other platforms. Remote
debuggers are very useful when one wants to safely dissect potentially harmful programs.
IDA Pro is interactive
Because no computer can currently beat the human brain when it comes to exploring the unknown,
IDA Pro is fully interactive. In sharp contrast with its predecessors, IDA always allows the human analyst to
override its decisions or to provide hints. Interactivity culminates in a built-in programming language and an
open plugin architecture.
IDA Pro is programmable
IDA Pro contains a complete development environment that consists of a very powerful macro-like
language that can be used to automate simple to medium complexity tasks. For more advanced tasks, our
open plugin architecture puts no limits on what external developers can do to enhance IDA Pro's
functionality. One could, for example, extend IDA Pro with a MP3 player and make malware sing. However,
we suspect our governmental customers are involved in more serious projects.