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Executable

An executable file is used to perform tasks according to encoded instructions. Executable files are sometimes also referred to as binaries which technically can be considered a sub class of executable files.

There are multiple families of executable files:

  • Scripts; e.g. shell scripts, batch scripts (.bat)
  • DOS, Windows executable files (.exe) which can be of various formats like: MZ, PE/COFF, NE
  • EFI fat binary; roughly a 48-byte header and 2x MZ-PE/COFF
  • ELF
  • Mach-O

ELF

MZ, PE/COFF

DBG, PDB

Minidump

Mach-O

Packers

Tools

MZ, PE/COFF

  • pefile, multi-platform Python module to read and work with Portable Executable (aka PE) files

PDB

  • pdbparse, Open-source parser for Microsoft debug symbols (PDB files)

Minidump