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BlackBerry Releases Open Source Reverse Engineering Tool

BlackBerry on Monday announced a new open source tool to help security teams reverse engineer malware. 

Called PE Tree, BlackBerry said the free tool was initially developed for internal use, but the company has now released it as an additional tool for reverse engineers to have in their arsenal.

According to BlackBerrry, PE Tree enables reverse engineers to view Portable Executable (PE) files in a tree-view using pefile and PyQt5, thereby lowering the bar for dumping and reconstructing malware from memory. 

“The tool also integrates with Hex-Rays' IDA Pro decompiler to allow for easy navigation of PE structures, as well as dumping in-memory PE files and performing import reconstruction; critical in the fight to identify and stop various strains of malware,” BlackBerry explained. 

"The cybersecurity threat landscape continues to evolve and cyberattacks are getting more sophisticated with potential to cause greater damage," said Eric Milam, Vice President of Research Operations, BlackBerry. "As cybercriminals up their game, the cybersecurity community needs new tools in their arsenal to defend and protect organizations and people. We've created this solution to help the cybersecurity community in this fight, where there are now more than 1 billion pieces of malware with that number continuing to grow by upwards of 100 million pieces each year."

Developed in Python, PE Tree supports Windows, Linux, and macOS systems, and can be installed and run as either a standalone application or an IDAPython plugin.

"PE Tree remains under active development, so expect to see new features frequently," Tom Bonner, Distinguished Threat Researcher at BlackBerry, noted in a blog post. "The next major release will focus on rekall support, offering the ability to view and dump processes from either a memory dump or live system."

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.