Even though Android has the spotlight of mobile research, little has been said about its unique file format, the Dalvik Executable. DEX, as it is known, is a file format developed to encapsulate the bytecode of Android applications. It is a unique combination of concepts borrowed from other file formats, such as DWARF debug format, into a highly optimized executable format with a small memory footprint. The contents of this talk are based on the development of the Dexterity library, an open source library for DEX instrumentation. It will describe the internals of the Dalvik Executable as well as techniques for direct manipulation of its binaries, which is a requirement for analysis, optimization, obfuscation and many other applications. It will also talk about the main limitations of DEX and the key concepts needed for porting the format to 64bit architectures.
Engineer, Intel Open Source Technology Center
Rodrigo Chiossi is an engineer at Intel Open Source Technology Center in Campinas, Brazil. His current projects are focused on bringing android to new markets outside the phone/tablet world. He has a broad experience with Android and has previously worked for multiple vendors, including Motorola and Samsung. His previous work were focused on Android platform and kernel security (Samsung SAFE / KNOX), and Android malware analysis. Besides his work... Read More →
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