0 to 31337 Real Quick: Lessons Learned by Reversing the Flare-On Challenge presented at BSidesNova 2017

by Blaine Stancill, Josh Wang,

Summary : Malware reverse engineering challenges are a great way to keep reversing skills sharp and learn new techniques. The Flare-On Challenge is one of the most difficult and respected ones out there. Participants must complete ten unique challenges of increasing sophistication over a six-week period. Only 17 people in the US successfully completed this year’s challenge, including the two of us. In this presentation, we’ll familiarize reversers and non-reversers alike with how to approach challenge problems, and arm them with tools and tricks to successfully solve the types of problems they regularly see. These techniques not only helped solve this year’s Flare-On problems, but more importantly, have real-world applicability. Many of the tools and techniques needed to complete the Flare-On challenge are key to understanding and reversing actual sophisticated malware, such as those used by APTs. We’ll walk through how we solved several of the most relevant and creative challenges, providing the audience unique reversing insights that can help both experienced reversers and non-reversers augment their skill sets.