Please bear in mind I am very new to all this - however I have searched and could not easily find an answer to my issue.

I have an elf (actually an Android aboot image based upon LK) that I loaded into IDA Pro. I see Strings, and I wish to find out where these strings are referenced in code.

enter image description here

I have tried to find cross-references to these strings in the code but there aren't any.

Am I totally naive and missed out something totally obvious to the initiated? Could the strings be referenced by some obtuse run-time calculation of address (to obfuscate references) rather than just straightforward absolute/relative reference (which IDA mostly could work out?)

Many thanks.

1 Answer 1


It could just be an array of strings that is referenced by a table of offsets into the array. Here is an example of how strerror() looks up strings:

String table example

Should be pretty straightforward to see that errid is just used to calculate the pointer for a corresponding string in the errmsg table by the strerror() function. This could be why you are not seeing xrefs for those strings. Without more information, that's my best guess. I would try to find the beginning of that list of strings and look for an xref there.

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