Articles tagged python ctypes

  1. A Better Way to Work with Raw Data Types in Python

    Working with raw data in any language can be a pain. If you are a developer there are many solutions to make it easier such as Google's Protocol Buffers. If you are a reverse engineer these methods can be too bulky especially if you are trying to quickly script an exploit (perhaps in a CTF where time is constrained). Python has always been my go-to language for exploit dev and general script writing but working with raw datatypes using just pack and unpack from the struct module is annoying and leaves much to be desired. I'm here to tell you that if you are still using pack and unpack for complex datatypes there is a better way.

    For the sake of this post we will attempt to work with the raw datatypes below defined as a C structures:

    typedef struct __attribute__((packed)) NestedStruct_ {
        unsigned char flags[3];
        uint8_t val1;
        uint8_t val2;
    } NestedStruct;
    typedef struct __attribute__((packed)) ExampleNetworkPacket_ {
        uint16_t version;
        uint16_t reserved;
        uint32_t sanity;
        NestedStruct ns;
        uint32_t datalen;
        unsigned char data[0];
    } ExampleNetworkPacket;

    The total size of the ExampleNetworkPacket structure will be 17 bytes plus any data appended on it.

    As a side note I just recently learned that the last element of the ExampleNetworkPacket is valid C and is useful to be a pointer to the end of the structure instead of having to do this:

    unsigned char data = (unsigned char*)(examplenetworkpacketptr + sizeof(ExampleNetworkPacket));


    Check out the full post for more details!