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NsPack 3.4 - 3.7 (Debugging and Unpacking )

Teddy Rogers

About This File

This document provides instructions on how to unpack NsPack 3.4 and 3.7 using the OllyDbg debugger. The OllyScripts used in this process are included in the appendixes. The custom plug-ins that are used to automate the procedure are provided with the source code. This paper also includes instructions on how to fully restore the import table so the file can be restored to its original state and executed. This is continued further with instructions on how to convert the machine code (assembly language) into a higher level language (in this paper we will use C) so that an analyst can better understand the workings and purpose of the packer.

Unfortunately, many commercial antivirus vendors have not adequately analyzed the NsPack binary and compression routine. This has led to the unfortunate situation where major anti-malware vendors are misclassifying NsPack (and other PE Packers) as Trojans (figure 3.1). In section 6 we will show through both static analysis and dynamic execution that NsPack is not a Trojan but a simple PE compression utility.

NsPack remains one of the most common PE Packers with high rates of reported use and discovery. Oberheide, Bailey, & Jahanian (2009) used the Arbor Network’s Arbor Malware Library (AML) to analyze the distribution of PE Packers. The results are displayed in figure 3.2. In these tables we see that NsPack is in the top 10 list for PE Packers used on malware samples stored in the AML database.

While this paper focuses on NsPack, the general principles are designed to enable the reader to learn how to apply the process to other PE Packers. NsPack 3.x is a simple compressor. It does not support Anti-Debug or Anti-Disassembly features. It used configurable section names (defaulting to .nsp). In this document we will walk through both the NsPack 3.4 and 3.7 versions.

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