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Robust, static disassembly is an important part of achieving high coverage for many binary code analyses, such as reverse engineering, malware analysis, reference monitor in-lining, and software fault isolation. However, one of the major diffculties current disassemblers face is differentiating code from data when they are interleaved. This paper presents a machine learning-based disassembly algorithm that segments an x86 binary into subsequences of bytes and then classiffes each subsequence as code or data. The algorithm builds a language model from a set of pre-tagged binaries using a statistical data compression technique. It sequentially scans a new binary executable and sets a breaking point at each potential code-to-code and code-to-data/data-to-code transition. The classiffcation of each segment as code or data is based on the minimum cross-entropy. Experimental results are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the algorithm.
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