Reversing complex software quickly is challenging due to the lack of professional tools that support collaborative analysis. The CrowdRE project aims to fill this gap. Rather than using a live distribution of changes to all clients, which has proven to fail in the past, it leverages from the architecture that is being used with success to organize source code repositories: a system that manages a history of changesets as commit messages.
There’s a great video here, which explains more about CrowdRE and how to get started:
The central component is a cloud based server that keeps track of commits in a database. Each commit covers one or more functions of an analyzed binary and contains information like annotations, comments, prototype, struct and enum definitions and the like. Clients can search the database for commits of functions by constructing a query of the analyzed binary’s hash and the function offset. Different concurring commits for a function are possible; in such cases it is up to the user to decide which commit is better.
This basic concept is sufficient for a collaborative workflow on a per-function basis for a shared binary. One exciting feature is a similarity hashing scheme that considers the basic block boundaries of a function. Each function is mapped on a similarity preserving hash of fixed size. A database query for such a functions similarity hash returns a set of functions sorted by their similarity value, and the analyst can choose amongst them. This is extremely helpful when analyzing variants based on the same code or generations of a malware family, for example.
The CrowdRE client is now freely available as an IDA Pro plugin. CrowdStrike maintains a central cloud for the community to share their commits amongst each other. It is our goal to help building a public database of known, well annotated functions to speed up the analysis of standard components, somewhat similar to what BinCrowd (which is offline nowadays) offered but with support for multiple co-existing commits for the same function. We also supports list-based commit visibility to give users control over who else can see and import their contributions.
You can check out the service here:
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