The purpose of this homework is have students investigate and use some of the tools available in Linux for inspecting executables and figuring out what they do and how they do it.
Your assignment is to figure out as much about a given program as you can,
without having the source code to the program.
To get started, go to the lab and log in on Xubuntu. Copy the program
/home/cs/232/mystery into your home directory.
There are many tools in Linux to help you discover information about executables. Your task is to find these tools and use them to learn what you can about the program.
The product of your investigation is to submit a written paper describing the tools you used,
how you used each one,
and what you learned about
mystery from using them. Ultimately, your goal is to be able to describe
what the program does. Your paper does not have to be beautiful prose -- it can be a
table of information. However, you should write in full English sentence.
You may work with a partner for this homework and you should submit one paper with both your names as authors.
The paper may be a text document, Microsloth Word document, or pdf. If you find a website that provides you
with significant information about doing forensics, you should cite it in your paper. If you are just
man pages (and you probably should spend some time looking at those), you do not have to cite those.
Tool used: running the program. What we learned: ...Note: there is an intentional bug in the code. Can you find it?
strings: What the tool does: .... What we learned: ...
Submit your paper for this homework to
We will grade this exercise according to the following criteria: (30 pts total)
For honors students: as I said, you must work alone. You will get 1.6 points for each significant fact, up to 20 points total. (So, to get the full 20 points, you have to provide 13 facts.)