QBDI v0.10 releases: A Dynamic Binary Instrumentation framework

QuarkslaB Dynamic Binary Instrumentation (QBDI) is a modular, cross-platform, and cross-architecture DBI framework. It aims to support Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems running on x86, x86-64, ARM, and AArch64 architectures. Information about what is a DBI framework and how QBDI works can be found in the user documentation introduction (:ref:`user-introduction`).

Why a DBI?

Debuggers are a popular approach to analyze the execution of a binary. While those tools are convenient, they are also quite slow. This performance problem is imperceptible to human users but really takes its toll on automated tools trying to step through a complete program. The only way to get rid of the problem is to place the tool inside the binary being analyzed and this is what DBI does: injecting instrumentation code inside the binary at runtime.



Existing DBI framework was designed more than 15 years ago, focusing on features and platforms that made sense at the time. Mobile platform support is often unstable or missing and instrumentation features are either simplistic or buried in low-level details. QBDI attempts to retain the interesting features of those frameworks while avoiding their pitfalls and bringing new designs and ideas to the table.

QBDI modularity means it doesn’t contain a preferred injection method and it is designed to be used in conjunction with an external injection tool. QBDI includes a tiny (LD_PRELOAD based) Linux and macOS injector for dynamic executables (QBDIPreload), which acts as the foundation for our Python bindings (pyQBDI). QBDI is also fully integrated with Frida, a reference dynamic instrumentation toolkit, allowing anybody to use their combined powers.

x86-64 support is mature (even if SIMD memory access is not yet reported). ARM architecture is a work in progress but already sufficient to execute a simple CLI program like ls or cat. x86 and AArch64 are planned, but currently unsupported.

A current limitation is that QBDI doesn’t handle signals, multithreading (it doesn’t deal with new threads creation) and C++ exception mechanisms. However, those system-dependent features will probably not be part of the core library (KISS), and should be integrated as a new layer (to be determined how).

CPU Operating Systems Execution Memory Access Information
x86-64 Linux, macOS, Windows Supported Partial (only non SIMD)
ARM Linux, Android, iOS Partial Unsupported
AArch64 Linux, Android Unsupported Unsupported
x86 Linux, macOS, Windows Unsupported Unsupported

Changelog v0.10

  • Fix Ubuntu package (#217)
  • Support ARMv7 and AArch64 architecture (#222)
  • Support python 3.11 (#222)
  • Support Frida >= 15.2 (#222 and #223)

Internal update:

  • Move windows CI to Github Actions (#222)
  • Support python build with pyproject.toml (#222)
  • Update LLVM to LLVM15 (#224)
  • Add CI for ARMv7 and AArch64 (#222 and #225)


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