1 minute read

A dive into the PE file format - Introduction

What is this ?

This is going to be a series of blog posts covering PE files in depth, it’s going to include a range of different topics, mainly the structure of PE files on disk and the way PE files get mapped and loaded into memory, we’ll also discuss applying that knowledge into building proof-of-concepts like PE parsers, packers and loaders, and also proof-of-concepts for some of the memory injection techniques that require this kind of knowledge, techniques like PE injection, process hollowing, dll reflective injection etc..

Why ?

The more I got into reverse engineering or malware development the more I found that knowledge about the PE file format is absolutely essential, I already knew the basics about PE files but I never learned about them properly.

Lately I have decided to learn about PE files, so the upcoming series of posts is going to be a documentation of what I’ve learned.

These posts are not going to cover anything new, there are a lot of resources that talk about the same thing, also the techniques that are going to be covered later have been known for some time. The goal is not to present anything new, the goal is to form a better understanding of things that already exist.


If you’d like to add anything or if you found a mistake that needs correction feel free to contact me. Contact information can be found in the about page.


File structure - part 1: Overview
File structure - part 2: DOS Header, DOS Stub and Rich Header
File structure - part 3: NT Headers
File structure - part 4: Data Directories, Section Headers and Sections
File structure - part 5: PE Imports (Import Directory Table, ILT, IAT)
File structure - part 6: PE Base Relocations
File structure - lab1: Writing a PE Parser