Dynamic Binary Modification

Dynamic Binary Modification
Tools, Techniques and Applications

Kim Hazelwood
ISBN: 9781608454587 | PDF ISBN: 9781608454594
Copyright © 2011 | 81 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2011

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Dynamic binary modification tools form a software layer between a running application and the underlying operating system, providing the powerful opportunity to inspect and potentially modify every user-level guest application instruction that executes. Toolkits built upon this technology have enabled computer architects to build powerful simulators and emulators for design-space exploration, compiler writers to analyze and debug the code generated by their compilers, software developers to fully explore the features, bottlenecks, and performance of their software, and even end-users to extend the functionality of proprietary software running on their computers. Several dynamic binary modification systems are freely available today that place this power into the hands of the end user. While these systems are quite complex internally, they mask that complexity with an easy-to-learn API that allows a typical user to ramp up fairly quickly and build any of a number of powerful tools. Meanwhile, these tools are robust enough to form the foundation for software products in use today.

This book serves as a primer for researchers interested in dynamic binary modification systems, their internal design structure, and the wide range of tools that can be built leveraging these systems. The hands-on examples presented throughout form a solid foundation for designing and constructing more complex tools, with an appreciation for the techniques necessary to make those tools robust and efficient. Meanwhile, the reader will get an appreciation for the internal design of the engines themselves.

Table of Contents

Dynamic Binary Modification: Overview
Using a Dynamic Binary Modifier
Program Analysis and Debugging
Active Program Modification
Architectural Exploration
Advanced System Internals
Historical Perspectives
Summary and Observations

About the Author(s)

Kim Hazelwood, University of Virginia
Kim Hazelwood is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia and a faculty consultant for Intel Corporation. She works at the boundary between hardware and software,with research efforts focusing on computer architecture, run-time optimizations, and the implementation and applications of process virtualization systems. She received the Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 2004. Since then, she has become widely known for her active contributions to the Pin dynamic instrumentation system,which allows users to easily inject arbitrary code into existing program binaries at run time (www.pintool.org). Pin is widely used throughout industry and academia to investigate new approaches to program introspection, optimization, security, and architectural design. It has been downloaded over 50,000 times and cited in over 800 publications since it was released in July 2004.Kim has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles related to computer architecture and virtualization.She has served on over two dozen program committees,including ISCA, PLDI, MICRO, OSDI, and PACT, and was a program chair of CGO2010. Kim is the recipient of numerous awards, including the FEST Distinguished Young Investigator Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, an NSF CAREER Award, a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship, the Anita Borg Early Career Award, an MIT Technology Review "Top 35 Innovators under 35 Award," and research awards from Microsoft, Google, NSF, and the SRC. Her research has been featured in MIT Technology Review, Computer World, ZDNet, EE Times, and Slashdot.

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