Assuming I have the following scenario: I have spotted a vulnerability in a specific function deep inside of an executable (DLL). To get that code path executed (in a vulnerable context) I need to feed the program with very specific input that depends on the flow paths and checked performed at different phases in the program.

What I'm looking for are some guidelines, books, material I could research which can explain me what approaches exist and how to get there.

Thanks and Regards, Daniel

  • When you say "I need to feed the program with a very specific output" do you really mean a very specific input? In other words, does a specific input to the program result in the vulnerable function being called?
    – julian
    Jun 8, 2018 at 1:05
  • @SYS_V I think OP is asking for a method to get the input needed in order for the program to reach the vulnerable function.
    – NirIzr
    Jun 8, 2018 at 2:08
  • @NirIzr This sounds fuzzing-related to me. What do you think? I'm trying to understand how this is related to reverse engineering.
    – julian
    Jun 8, 2018 at 2:11
  • @SYS_V Well, I posted an answer assuming I'm correct. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    – NirIzr
    Jun 8, 2018 at 2:25

1 Answer 1


One common method of finding out the needed input to reach a specific execution flow (or a target instruction/function) is done using SMT solvers.

SMT solvers are programs that accept a set of symbols, potentially conflicting conditions and a set of defined operations between them, as well as a desired outcome/target. An SMT solver will attempt to provide a "solution" to the given constraints, in the defined domain space.

As mentioned, this topic is tightly related to and symbolic execution, of course. That is also the main context in which SMT solvers (and similar techniques/approaches) are used in the security industry. Couple folks in the industry have also spent a lot of their time on that, namely Rolf Rolles.

There are a few SMT solvers that are commonly used in the security industry community (that I'm aware of):

  1. Z3 by Microsoft is a widely known one.
  2. Triton is another.
  3. angr is a library focused on lifting assembly to IR and solving constraints.

Additionally, there are a bunch ton of solvers over at the wiki page.


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