Reverse Engineering

PortEx – Java library to analyse Portable Executable files with a special focus on malware analysis and PE malformation robustness

PortEx is a Java library for static malware analysis of Portable Executable files. Its focus is on PE malformation robustness, and anomaly detection. PortEx is written in Java and Scala, and targeted at Java applications.
  • Reading header information from: MSDOS Header, COFF File Header, Optional Header, Section Table
  • Reading standard section formats: Import Section, Resource Section, Export Section, Debug Section, Relocations
  • Dumping of sections, resources, overlay, embedded ZIP, JAR or .class files
  • Scanning for file anomalies, including structural anomalies, deprecated, reserved, wrong or non-default values.
  • Visualize a PE file structure as it is on disk and visualize the local entropies of the file
  • Automatic repair of PE files
  • Calculate Shannon Entropy for files and sections
  • Calculate hash values for files and sections
  • Scan for PEiD signatures or your own signature database
  • Scan for Jar to EXE wrapper (e.g. exe4j, jsmooth, jar2exe, launch4j)
  • Extract Unicode and ASCII strings contained in the file
  • Overlay detection and dumping
  • Extraction of ICO files from resource section
  • Extraction of version information from the file
For more information have a look at PortEx Wiki and the Documentation
PortExAnalyzer is a command line tool that runs the library PortEx under the hood. If you are looking for a readily compiled command line PE scanner to analyse files with it, download it from here PortexAnalyzer.jar

Using PortEx

Including PortEx to a Maven Project
You can include PortEx to your project by adding the following Maven dependency:


To use a local build, add the library as follows:


Including PortEx to an SBT project
Add the dependency as follows in your build.sbt

libraryDependencies += "com.github.katjahahn" % "portex_2.10" % "2.0.2"

Building PortEx

PortEx is build with sbt

Compile and Build With sbt
To simply compile the project invoke:

$ sbt compile

To create a jar:

$ sbt package

To compile a fat jar that can be used as command line tool, type:

$ sbt assembly

Create Eclipse Project
You can create an eclipse project by using the sbteclipse plugin. Add the following line to project/plugins.sbt:

addSbtPlugin("com.typesafe.sbteclipse" % "sbteclipse-plugin" % "2.4.0")

Generate the project files for Eclipse:

$ sbt eclipse

Import the project to Eclipse via the Import Wizard.

Author and Contact
Karsten Hahn (previously Katja Hahn)
E-Mail: portx (at) gmx (dot) de

About the author

Mazen Elzanaty

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