Tag Archives: javascript

Deobfuscation Redux: JavaScript

Google recently released version 12 of their Chrome browser. This version adds a new feature that automatically allows deobfuscating obfuscated JavaScript source code.



As a reverse engineering purist, I was a bit annoyed. Not at the feature, just the naming. This is clearly code beautification but not necessarily deobfuscation. The real obfuscation comes not from removing whitespace but from renaming variable and function names to terse 1- and 2-letter identifiers. True automated deobfuscation — which entails recovering the original variable and function identifiers as well as source code comments — is basically impossible.

Still, it makes me wonder if there is any interest in a JavaScript deobfuscator that operates similar to my Java deobfuscator which was one of the first things I published on this blog. The general idea is automatically replace function names with random English verbs (since functions correspond to actions) and variable names with random animal names (I decided “English nouns” encompassed too broad a category of words). I suspect the day that someone releases a proprietary multimedia codec in a pure (though obfuscated) JavaScript format is that day that I will try to accomplish this, if it hasn’t been done already.

See also:

Ramping Up On JavaScript

I didn’t think I would ever have sufficient motivation to learn JavaScript, but here I am. I worked a little more on that new FATE index page based on Google’s Visualization API. To that end, I constructed the following plan:

Part 1: Create A JSON Data Source
Create a JSON data source, now that I figured out how to do that correctly. JSON data really is just a JavaScript data structure. It can be crazy to look at since it necessitates packing dictionaries inside of arrays inside of dictionaries inside of arrays. (Check the examples– observe that the data structure ends with “}]}]}});”.) But in the end, the Google visualization knows what to do with it.


Part 2: Connect the JSON Data Source
Hook the JSON data source up to the newest revision of the FATE front page, rolled out a little while ago.


Part 3: Save The User’s Most Recent Sort Criteria
The problem is that the page resets the sort criteria on a refresh. There needs to be a way to refresh the page while maintaining that criteria. This leads me to think that I should have some “refresh” button embedded in the page which asks the server for updated data using a facility I have heard of named XMLHttpRequest. I found a simple tutorial on the matter but was put off by the passage “Because of variations among the Web browsers, creating this object is more complicated than it need be.”

Backup idea: Cookies. Using this tutorial as a guide, set a cookie whenever the user changes either the sort column or the sort order.

Done, though I may want to revisit the XHR idea one day.

Part 4: Make It Look Good
Finally, figure out how the div tag works to make the layout a little cleaner.

Done. Sort of. There are 2 div tags on the page now, one for the header and one for the table. I suppose I will soon have to learn CSS to really drag this page out of 1997.

Bonus: Caching the JSON Data
Ideally, the web browser makes the JSON data request using the If-Modified-Since HTTP header. Use a sniffer to verify this. If this is true, add a table to the FATE MySQL table which contains a single column specifying the timestamp when the web config cache table was last updated. If this time is earlier than the time in the request header, respond with a 304 (not modified) HTTP code.

Not done. It seems that these requests don’t set the appropriate HTTP header, at least not in Firefox.

I hope to put this page into service soon, just as soon as I can dump the rest of the existing index.php script into this new one. As usual, not elegant, but it works.

Flip The Game

I decided to reverse the order of the machines on the main FATE page. That makes the Linux and Mac OS X machines float to the top. Sorry, BSD and Solaris people, but the Linux stuff just take precedence.

And speaking of Solaris, you will notice that we have a new configuration: Solaris 10 on Sparc, compiling with gcc, with more compiler configurations hopefully to come. Thanks to JeffD for contributing these results.

Back on the topic of the front page: Of course, I have every desire to update the entire web experience. But I’m still woefully inept at modern web development. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. Perhaps it’s better to claim that I have so many higher priority problems to solve for FATE. I have an entire other rant in process for my experience with trying to understand modern web programming.

Look, I have all this raw data in a neat format. What is a good, quick, cross-browser method to display it in a friendly manner so that it can be easily sorted by various criteria. In different GUI APIs, I’m pretty sure that I would coerce the data into some kind of DataGrid object. There’s nothing quite like that in plain HTML. Javascript, perhaps? What’s out there? Where do I even start looking?