04 - HookingΒΆ

The objective of this tutorial is to hook a library function

Scripts and materials are available here: materials

In the previous tutorial we saw how to swap symbols names from a shared library, we will now see the mechanism to hook a function in a shared library.

The targeted library is the standard math library (libm.so) and we will insert a hook on the exp function so that \(exp(x) = x + 1\). The source code of the sample that uses this function is given in the following listing:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <math.h>

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
  if (argc != 2) {
    printf("Usage: %s <a> \n", argv[0]);

  int a = atoi(argv[1]);
  printf("exp(%d) = %f\n", a, exp(a));
  return 0;

The hooking function is as simple as:

double hook(double x) {
  return x + 1;

Compiled with gcc -Os -nostdlib -nodefaultlibs -fPIC -Wl,-shared hook.c -o hook.

To inject this hook into the library, we use the insert_content() method

Binary.insert_content(self: lief.ELF.Binary, arg0: List[int]) → Tuple[int, int]

Add some data in the binary

This method will insert our stub into the library and returns a tuple (offset, size) where offset is the location of the stub in the library and size the stub’s size aligned. As a side effect, assembly code is shifted and various offsets are patched.

Once the stub is injected we just have to change the address of the exp symbol:

exp_symbol = next(filter(lambda e : e.name == "exp", libm.exported_symbols))
hook_symbol = next(filter(lambda e : e.name == "hook", hook.exported_symbols))

exp_symbol.value = offset + hook_symbol.value

To test the patched library:

./do_math.bin 1
exp(1) = 2.718282
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=. ./do_math.bin 1
exp(1) = 2.000000