# Cryptographic/Compression Algorithms

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If you ends in a code

**using shift rights and lefts, xors and several arithmetic operations**it's highly possible that it's the implementation of a**cryptographic algorithm**. Here it's going to be showed some ways to**identify the algorithm that it's used without needing to reverse each step**.**CryptDeriveKey**

If this function is used, you can find which

**algorithm is being used**checking the value of the second parameter:Check here the table of possible algorithms and their assigned values: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/seccrypto/alg-id

**RtlCompressBuffer/RtlDecompressBuffer**

Compresses and decompresses a given buffer of data.

**CryptAcquireContext**

The

**CryptAcquireContext**function is used to acquire a handle to a particular key container within a particular cryptographic service provider (CSP).**This returned handle is used in calls to CryptoAPI**functions that use the selected CSP.**CryptCreateHash**

Initiates the hashing of a stream of data. If this function is used, you can find which

**algorithm is being used**checking the value of the second parameter:
Check here the table of possible algorithms and their assigned values: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/seccrypto/alg-id

Sometimes it's really easy to identify an algorithm thanks to the fact that it needs to use a special and unique value.

If you search for the first constant in Google this is what you get:

Therefore, you can assume that the decompiled function is a

**sha256 calculator.**You can search any of the other constants and you will obtain (probably) the same result.If the code doesn't have any significant constant it may be

**loading information from the .data section**. You can access that data,**group the first dword**and search for it in google as we have done in the section before:In this case, if you look for

**0xA56363C6**you can find that it's related to the**tables of the AES algorithm**.It's composed of 3 main parts:

**Initialization stage/**: Creates a**table of values from 0x00 to 0xFF**(256bytes in total, 0x100). This table is commonly call**Substitution Box**(or SBox).**Scrambling stage**: Will**loop through the table**crated before (loop of 0x100 iterations, again) creating modifying each value with**semi-random**bytes. In order to create this semi-random bytes, the RC4**key is used**. RC4**keys**can be**between 1 and 256 bytes in length**, however it is usually recommended that it is above 5 bytes. Commonly, RC4 keys are 16 bytes in length.**XOR stage**: Finally, the plain-text or cyphertext is**XORed with the values created before**. The function to encrypt and decrypt is the same. For this, a**loop through the created 256 bytes**will be performed as many times as necessary. This is usually recognized in a decompiled code with a**%256 (mod 256)**.

**In order to identify a RC4 in a disassembly/decompiled code you can check for 2 loops of size 0x100 (with the use of a key) and then a XOR of the input data with the 256 values created before in the 2 loops probably using a %256 (mod 256)**

- Use of
**substitution boxes and lookup tables**- It's possible to
**distinguish AES thanks to the use of specific lookup table values**(constants).*Note that the**constant**can be**stored**in the binary**or created**dynamically**.*

- The
**encryption key**must be**divisible**by**16**(usually 32B) and usually an**IV**of 16B is used.

- It's rare to find some malware using it but there are examples (Ursnif)
- Simple to determine if an algorithm is Serpent or not based on it's length (extremely long function)

In the following image notice how the constant

**0x9E3779B9**is used (note that this constant is also used by other crypto algorithms like**TEA**-Tiny Encryption Algorithm). Also note the**size of the loop**(**132**) and the**number of XOR operations**in the**disassembly**instructions and in the**code**example:As it was mentioned before, this code can be visualized inside any decompiler as a

**very long function**as there**aren't jumps**inside of it. The decompiled code can look like the following:Therefore, it's possible to identify this algorithm checking the

**magic number**and the**initial XORs**, seeing a**very long function**and**comparing**some**instructions**of the long function**with an implementation**(like the shift left by 7 and the rotate left by 22).- More complex than symmetric algorithms
- There are no constants! (custom implementation are difficult to determine)
- KANAL (a crypto analyzer) fails to show hints on RSA ad it relies on constants.

- In line 11 (left) there is a
`+7) >> 3`

which is the same as in line 35 (right):`+7) / 8`

- Line 12 (left) is checking if
`modulus_len < 0x040`

and in line 36 (right) it's checking if`inputLen+11 > modulusLen`

- 3 functions: Init, Update, Final
- Similar initialize functions

**Init**

You can identify both of them checking the constants. Note that the sha_init has 1 constant that MD5 doesn't have:

**MD5 Transform**

Note the use of more constants

- Smaller and more efficient as it's function is to find accidental changes in data
- Uses lookup tables (so you can identify constants)

Check

**lookup table constants**:A CRC hash algorithm looks like:

- Not recognizable constants
- You can try to write the algorithm in python and search for similar things online

The graph is quiet large:

Check

**3 comparisons to recognise it**:- Do you work in a
**cybersecurity company**? Do you want to see your**company advertised in HackTricks**? or do you want to have access to the**latest version of the PEASS or download HackTricks in PDF**? Check the**SUBSCRIPTION PLANS**!