Finding more about the semantics of an instruction

Pre-requisites: install and setup Capstone

Environment Jupyter

This example requires the capstone Python package:

# From a code cell of a Jupyter notebook
    import capstone
    print("capstone already installed")
except ImportError:
    print("Could not find capstone, attempting to install it from pip")
    import sys
    import subprocess

    command = [f"{sys.executable}", "-m", "pip", "install", "capstone"]
    p =

    if int(p.returncode) != 0:
        raise RuntimeError("Error installing capstone")

    import capstone  # noqa
    print("Successfully installed capstone")

Using Capstone

Since we need to maintain several objects that we would need to pass to the various functions, the easiest way is to use classes:

class DisassembledInstruction:
    def __init__(self, _tr : reven2.trace.Transition, _cs_insn):
        self._tr = _tr
        self._cs_insn = _cs_insn

    def _read_transition_reg(self, reg: reven2.arch.register.Register):
        Read the value of a register during computations performed by the instruction.

        For PC, it is the value after the instruction.
        For other registers, it is the value before the instruction.
        if reg in [, reven2.arch.x64.eip]:
            return self._tr.pc + self._cs_insn.size
            return self._tr.context_before().read(reg)

    def dereferenced_address(self, op_index: int):
        from reven2.arch.register import Register

        cs_op = self._cs_insn.operands[op_index]

        if cs_op.type != capstone.CS_OP_MEM:
            raise IndexError("The selected operand is not a memory operand")

        dereferenced_address = 0

        if cs_op.value.mem.base != 0:
            base_reg = Register.from_name(self._cs_insn.reg_name(cs_op.value.mem.base))
            dereferenced_address += self._read_transition_reg(base_reg)

        if cs_op.value.mem.index != 0:
            index_reg = Register.from_name(self._cs_insn.reg_name(cs_op.value.mem.index))
            index = self._read_transition_reg(index_reg)
            dereferenced_address += (cs_op.value.mem.scale * index)

        dereferenced_address += cs_op.value.mem.disp

        # mask instruction depending on mode
        mask = 0xFFFF_FFFF_FFFF_FFFF if self._tr.mode == reven2.trace.Mode.X86_64 else 0xFFFF_FFFF

        return dereferenced_address & mask

    def capstone_instruction(self):
        return self._cs_insn

    def transition(self):
        return self._tr

class Disassembler:
    def __init__(self):
        self._md_64 = capstone.Cs(capstone.CS_ARCH_X86, capstone.CS_MODE_64)
        self._md_64.detail = True

        self._md_32 = capstone.Cs(capstone.CS_ARCH_X86, capstone.CS_MODE_32)
        self._md_32.detail = True

    def disassemble(self, tr: reven2.trace.Trace):
        Attempt to disassemble with Capstone the instruction associated to the passed transition.

        Returns None if there is no instruction to disassemble.
        if tr.instruction is not None:
            instruction = tr.instruction
        elif tr.exception is not None and tr.exception.related_instruction is not None:
           instruction = tr.exception.related_instruction
            return None

        if tr.mode == reven2.trace.Mode.X86_64:
            md = self._md_64
        elif tr.mode == reven2.trace.Mode.X86_32:
            md = self._md_32
            raise ValueError("Unsupported mode '{tr.mode}'")
        cs_insn = next(md.disasm(instruction.raw, instruction.size))

        return DisassembledInstruction(tr, cs_insn)

Disassembling REVEN instructions

REVEN v2.10.0
Dependency capstone
dsm = Disassembler()
insn = dsm.disassemble(tr)
# Access the capstone instruction

Depending on your use-case you may want to skip disassembling instructions related to exceptions, as these are not always (fully) executed.

Compute dereferenced address

REVEN v2.2.0
Dependency capstone

Sample output:


Convert capstone flags to REVEN register flags

REVEN v2.2.0
Dependency capstone
test_eflags = {
    capstone.x86.X86_EFLAGS_TEST_OF: reven2.arch.x64.of,
    capstone.x86.X86_EFLAGS_TEST_SF: reven2.arch.x64.sf,
    capstone.x86.X86_EFLAGS_TEST_ZF: reven2.arch.x64.zf,
    capstone.x86.X86_EFLAGS_TEST_NT: reven2.arch.x64.nt,
    capstone.x86.X86_EFLAGS_TEST_DF: reven2.arch.x64.df,
    capstone.x86.X86_EFLAGS_TEST_RF: reven2.arch.x64.rf,
    capstone.x86.X86_EFLAGS_TEST_IF: reven2.arch.x64.if_,

for flag, reg in test_eflags.items():
    if not insn.capstone_instruction.eflags & flag:
        # register not present, skip
    print(f"{reg} is affected by the instruction")