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The IDA Pro Book, 2nd Edition by Chris Eagle

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The How of Disassembly

Now that you’re well versed in the purposes of disassembly, it’s time to move on to how the process actually works. Consider a typical daunting task faced by a disassembler: Take these 100KB, distinguish code from data, convert the code to assembly language for display to a user, and please don’t miss anything along the way. We could tack any number of special requests on the end of this, such as asking the disassembler to locate functions, recognize jump tables, and identify local variables, making the disassembler’s job that much more difficult.

In order to accommodate all of our demands, any disassembler will need to pick and choose from a variety of algorithms as it navigates through the files that we feed it. The quality ...

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