I'm working on an iOS target. I'm effectively interested in running the program and its metadata through strings. I've noticed a simple grep does not return expected results and I suspect its because of compressed/binary plist files.

How can I search trough the IPA and dump the key value pairs from a compressed/binary plist?

  • 1
    You must find out what compression is used. If it is zip, for example, you can use zgrep.
    – Jongware
    Feb 6, 2015 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


Typically this will use known compression algorithms. Just use binwalk to find the offset and the compression algorithm. Then decompress and dump the strings. Keep in mind that you may want to specify the encoding sometimes, eg:

$ string -e l input_file

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