PEStudio is a unique tool that performs the static investigation of 32-bit and 64-bit executable. Malicious executable often attempts to hide its malicious behavior and to evade detection. In doing so, it generally presents anomalies and suspicious patterns. The goal of PEStudio is to detect these anomalies, provide indicators and score the executable being analyzed. Since the executable file being analyzed is never started, you can inspect any unknown or malicious executable with no risk.
PEStudio is delivered as a ZIP file (MD5: B33C5C98CB013D9909561E1DB162E3C6). Once the package is decompressed, PEStudio does not require any installation nor does it change the system it is running on. PEStudio is portable and runs on any Windows Platform.
PEStudio shows Indicators as a human-friendly result of the analysed image. Indicators are grouped into categories according to their severity. Indicators show the potential and the anomalies of the application being analysed. The classifications are based on XML files provided with PEStudio. By editing the XML file, one can customize the Indicators shown and their severity. Among the indicators, PEStudio shows when an image is compressed using UPX or MPRESS. PEStudio helps you to define the trustworthiness of the application being analysed.
PEStudio can query Antivirus engines hosted by Virustotal for the file being analysed. This feature only sends the MD5 of the file being analysed. This feature can be switched ON or OFF using an XML file included with PEStudio. PEStudio helps you to determine how suspicious the file being analysed is.
Even a suspicious binary or malware file must interact with the operating system in order to perform its activity. For this to be possible, a certain amount of libraries must be used. PEStudio retrieves the libraries and the functions used by the image. PEStudio also includes an XML file that is used to blacklist functions (e.g. Registry, Process, Thread, File, ...). The blacklist file can be customized and extended according to your own needs. PEStudio shows the intent and purpose of the application analyzed.
Executable files typically not only contain code but also many kinds of data types. Resources sections are commonly used to host different Windows built-in items (e.g. icons, strings, dialogs, menus) and custom data. PEStudio analyzes the resources of the file being analysed and detects embedded items (e.g. EXE, DLL, SYS, PDF, CAB, ZIP, JAR, ...). Any item can be separately selected and saved to a file, allowing the possibility of further analysis.
The goal of PEStudio is to allow investigators to analyse unknown and suspicious executable files. For this purpose, PEStudio can also produce an XML Output Report file documenting the executable file being analysed. The goal of this XML Output Report file is the ability to be utilized by any third-party analysis tool. To better accomplish this goal, an XML Schema will be published soon.
The package you can download not only contains PEStudio running as Graphical User Interface (GUI), but it also contains a Command Line Interface (CLI) version of PEStudio. Starting PEStudio in a prompt mode allows the analysis of executables and the creation of the XML output file in a batch mode.
Considering the general software architecture, PEStudio is a consumer of a set of private interfaces provided by the underlying layer. The underlying layer is called PeParser, which is the engine performing the parsing of the Executable files being analysed. This parser has been completely designed and implemented by the author. No third party library or any Windows library is used to parse Executable. As far as the parsing is concerned, this task is made at the RAW level, which has the advantage that the parser can be easily ported to run on other operating systems. The parser provides access to all data of the files being inspected as well as consolidated Information and Notifications that can be also consumed by other products. For this sake, a Software Development Kit (SDK) can be acquired on a license basis. Please contact the author, to get more information about the license models.