I have a PE binary with a digital signature. I want to get the original PE hash (not the hash of the whole file).

I can't figure out how to read it from the file. The Authenticode spec suggests the PKCS#7 signature block (e.g. the Attribute Certificate Table) has a ContentInfo field that contains the original PE hash. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't define a ContentInfo structure. Nor does the PKCS#7 spec.

Recalculating the hash won't help if the file was tampered.

  • 1
    I'm not familiar with the acronym "PE", can you expand so I learn something? :) Aug 14, 2018 at 17:32
  • 1
    @Mike Ounsworth PE in a 'binary file' context stands for Portable Executable, aka the Windows Portable Executable file format (.exe-files). en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Executable
    – Nomad
    Aug 14, 2018 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


PKCS7 (aka CMS) most certainly does define the generic ContentInfo. See rfc2630 section 3 et succ, or rfc2315 section 7 (no anchor to link):

  ContentInfo ::= SEQUENCE {
        contentType ContentType,
        content [0] EXPLICIT ANY DEFINED BY contentType }


But this is deliberately so flexible as to be useless in processing the data: it can contain any type of data as long as there is an OID to identify that type of data.

You aren't clear on your source, but my first google hit for "Authenticode signature format" is download.microsoft.com/download/9/c/5/9c5b2167-8017.../Authenticode_PE.docx and that says on page 7 regarding the contentInfo of the SignedData used for Authenticode:

• contentType must be set to SPC_INDIRECT_DATA_OBJID (
• content must be set to an SpcIndirectDataContent structure, which is described later.

and from page 9 to 11 (which is indeed later) contains a detailed definition beginning with

SpcIndirectDataContent ::= SEQUENCE {
    data                    SpcAttributeTypeAndOptionalValue,
    messageDigest           DigestInfo
} --#public—

SpcAttributeTypeAndOptionalValue ::= SEQUENCE {
    type                    ObjectID,
    value                   [0] EXPLICIT ANY OPTIONAL

where the DigestInfo contains the AlgId and digest value for a canonical hash of the file computed using a process detailed starting on page 15.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .