• Infosec In the City (IIC)

SINCON 2021 Conference — Bringing the x86 Complete RE Experience to Smart Contract

SINCON 2021 Conference — Deep-Tech Talk

Day 2 (06 Nov 2021) 2.00pm—2.45pm @ Main Room

Bringing the x86 Complete Reverse Engineering (RE) Experience to Smart Contract

Abstract

There was more than $2 Trillion USD market cap for the cryptocurrency market (2nd Quarter 2021), DeFi alone is more than 100 Billion. With the popularity of the DeFi market, smart contracts again become the playground of hackers and security researchers. Token “robbery” became the most problematic issue for both investors and cryptocurrency exchanges.


Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is still the most widely used architecture to support the core of smart contracts such as Polkadot, EVM and soon Cardano blockchain. Emulators built around EVM are merely good for development purposes. Most of the EVM analysis engines are just debugging tools based on symbolic execution. Unfortunately, these engines are just simple tools that do not encourage and support us to develop tools on top of them.


During Black Hat Asia, Arsenal 2021, we presented “Qiling: Smart Analysis for Smart Contract” [1] and explained the foundation of Qiling’s EVM engine. This time, we would like to take this opportunity to demonstrate the full capabilities and tools that we build on top of Qiling’s EVM engine. That brings the complete traditional x86 reverse engineering experience to the smart contract space.

  • Real-time EVM debugger, with step into, step over and memory stack modification capabilities

  • Full emulation of multi cross contract instrumentation

  • Ultra-fast emulation with pre-set environment variables

  • Fully automated reapply and verify latest smart contract attack to all existing contracts on an exchange or chain

To demonstrate the power of QIling’s EVM module. We prepared some case studies and a few demos on how we can use the Qiling Framework to rebuild the entire blockchain with instrumentation and verify the currently existing smart contract (single or multiple contracts) vulnerability in matters on a few lines of code.


Once the talk ends, we will release the code and tools into the Qiling GitHub repo, as usual.


References

Black Hat Asia Arsenal 2021: https://www.blackhat.com/asia-21/arsenal/schedule/index.html#qiling-smart-analysis-for-smart-contract-22643


About xwings & Wu Chen Xu

KaiJern (xwings) Lau, is Lab Director of The ShepherdLab, of JD Security. His research topics mainly on embedded devices, hardware security, blockchain security, reverse engineering and various security topics. He presented his findings in different international security conferences like Blackhat, Defcon, HITB, Codegate, QCon, KCon, Brucon, H2HC, Nullcon and etc. He conducted hardware Hacking courses in various places around the globe. He is also the owner of hackersbadge.com, actively involved in Unicorn (https://unicorn-engine.org) development and founder of Qiling Framework (https://qiling.io)


Wu Chen Xu is a security researcher at the Shepherd Lab of JD Security. His research focuses on automated binary analysis. He was a speaker of BlackHat Asia 2020, BlackHat Europe 2020, BlackHat Asia 2021, BlackHat USA 2021, China kanxue SDC 2020, HITB Labs 2020, HITB 2021. He is also a core developer for Qiling Framework (https://qiling.io)

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