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What tricks can be used to prevent or hinder debugging?


  • IsDebuggerPresent API on Windows
  • Exception handlers used for program flow.
  • GetTickCount / rdtsc checks.

Are there any good resources on this kind of thing?

share|improve this question
@AndrewSmith Care to substantiate your claims about banks using that technique? I've never heard of it. – Polynomial Aug 24 '12 at 5:56
@Andrew - why write unsubstantiated and untrue nonsense? What makes you think any bank wants to obfuscate code and make their own debugging more difficult? – Rory Alsop Aug 24 '12 at 6:58
Better one silly idea then none! – Andrew Smith Aug 24 '12 at 15:59
@AndrewSmith I cannot describe how fundamentally opposed I am to that sentiment. – Polynomial Aug 24 '12 at 16:01
I also cannot describe how well I do understand it too. – Andrew Smith Aug 24 '12 at 16:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could begin looking at Symantec:

And there is a question in Stackoverflow about anti-debugging tricks.

share|improve this answer
Figured someone would drop the Symantec paper on here at some point :) – Polynomial Aug 23 '12 at 19:42
:) think it's the only one I ever read about it... – woliveirajr Aug 23 '12 at 19:47

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