Lifting int 0x2e to LLIL_SYSCALL with Binary Ninja

- (2 min read)

Windows (at times) use the int 0x2e instruction to execute syscalls. The following image shows a diassembly of the ZwAccessCheck syscall from ntdll.dll:

Binary Ninja (as of Version 2.4.3050-dev) is not able to lift the int 0x2e instruction. The int 0x2e branch in ZwAccessCheck is displayed as "undefined" in LLIL view while the syscall instruction lifts cleanly to LLIL_SYSCALL.

With Binary Ninja's API, a custom ArchitectureHook can be implemented to lift specific instructions an IL instruction. The following WindowsX86SyscallHook implements a custom get_instruction_low_level_il that emits LLIL_SYSCALL whenever int 0x2e is seen:

from binaryninja.architecture import Architecture, ArchitectureHook

class WindowsX86SyscallHook(ArchitectureHook):
    def get_instruction_low_level_il(self, data, addr, il):
        result, length = super().get_instruction_text(data, addr)

        if len(result) > 0 and result[0].text == "int" and result[2].value == 0x2E:
            return True

        return super().get_instruction_low_level_il(data, addr, il)


Once the plugin is installed, the LLIL view becomes more accurate. The change also propagates to the higher level ILs like MLIL and HLIL.

The only downside to this approach is that the extension is done at the architecture level and not at the platform level which would affect other x86_64 platforms that use int 0x2e for something besides syscalls. This is hopefully not common enough to matter in practice.