Wednesday 7 September 2016

Pyinstaller Extractor updated to v1.6

PyInstaller Extractor is a tool to extract the contents of a windows executable file created by pyinstaller. This weekend I updated the tool to version 1.6. The new features which were incorporated include

  • Support for extracting pyinstaller 3.2
  • Extractor would now use a random name for extracting unnamed files within the CArchive
  • Preliminary support for handling encrypted pyz archives
The features are explained below.

Support for extracting pyinstaller 3.2

There has not been any format changes between pyinstaller 3.2 and the earlier versions. The previous versions works as is for pyinstaller 3.2

Handling unnamed files within CArchive

A Pyinstaller exe file can be visualized as of two nested archives. The outer layer is called CArchive. It is called so as it handled by C code i.e. the decompression of the layer is handled by a native stub written in C. The CArchive in turn contain another archive called PYZArchive along with other files. The PYZArchive is usually zlib compressed and is handled by python code and hence the reason for its name.

The CArchive usually contains the main script along with necessary dll files and python extension modules (pyd files). When running an pyinstaller exe, all dll and pyd files are written to a temporary directory to facilitate loading. (This behaviour is noticeably different from py2exe which loads dlls from memory.) The main script is never written to disk and hence it is possible to remove its name. If such is the case then the earlier versions of extractor would fail. The current version 1.6 will use a random name if it finds any unnamed files.

This feature has mainly been inspired while working on the PAN LabyREnth challenge (Threat #7).

Preliminary support for handling encrypted pyz archives

The files within the PYZ archive can be encrypted too. If such is the case, the tool would dump those files as is without attempting to process them. Previously the tool would fail trying to decompress encrypted data.

That's it. I would make a separate post to demonstrate how to extract encrypted pyz archives. It isn't difficult as the key to decrypt is present right in the CArchive.