I am very new to reverse engineering and thus, I struggle to even know the right search terms for effective research.

I have been trying to reverse engineering an encryption algorithm of a software built by the company I work for. I am allowed to do this, so this is not an issue. I proposed to find out how easy it is to get a key used fo the encryption, partly because I wanted to dive deeper into RE, so any help on how to ask these question better would also be appreciated. I'm finding it hard to research effectively.

The software I mentioned is a dinosaur written entirely in visual basic, composed mainly of 2 exes and 1 DLL and some configuration files. So I thought, would be pretty easy to disassemble.

I searched the configuration files first but found no keys, obviously.

I tried to disassemble it using dotpeek, and was able to piece together the algorithm itself which I found on the dll, the key would be on one of the 2 exes. When I disassembled the exes all the method and class names where extremely mangled or just jibberish on one exe. And on the other exe, all names where just empty strings. was very mangled.

I tried using ollydbg but I kept getting an error "unable to start file." When I tried to load the exe. Is there somekind of flag that protects against this type of access?


  1. Is there a way to recover destroyed/mangled/obfuscated class and module names from an exe?

  2. Is it possible that the application has some built in flag or something that forbids ollydbg to read it?

  3. If so, what can I do?

  4. What other techniques can I use to get to the key?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.