Reversing an Android sample which uses Flutter

  1. Reverse engineer’s angle. Read this part if you want to hear how I struggled to reverse the app.
  2. Malware analyst’s angle. Read this part to learn if the app is malicious or not.

Reverse engineering Flutter-based Android apps

How do I detect the app uses Flutter?

  • If the app is in debug mode, you are lucky. Unzip the APK and look for the code in ./assets/flutter_assets/kernel_blob.bin [1]
  • If the app is in release mode (which is the case for the suspicious sample), you will find in ./lib/ subdirectories.

Where is the Dart code?

Output of : readelf -s
Parsing the snapshots of the app. The first one is the VM isolate. Both use version 2.13.

Tools to reverse Dart

  • Darter [5]: this is a Python toolkit to parse It works for Flutter 2.5. Example of use here. Unfortunately, we have 2.13 which is significantly newer.
  • Doldrums [6]: this tool is meant to parse and dump all classes of the isolate snapshots. Exactly what I am looking for, except it works for Flutter 2.10. There’s a fork currently focusing on 2.13. It isn’t finished yet. I tried to fix errors for my sample, by quickly moving out of issues it encountered, but I got no interesting decompiled output in the end (meaning my “quick fix” is too quick, and there’s more to be done to get it to work).
  • reFlutter [7]: this framework operates differently. The idea is to patch the sample and use a patched version of the Flutter library. Then, to write Frida hooks and dynamically analyze calls to the patched library.

To reFlutter … or not

Patching the sample with reFlutter — select option 2 for dynamic analysis of the sample
Function 'get:zra': getter const. null {Code Offset: _kDartIsolateSnapshotInstructions + 0x000000000000c1a4

function hookFunc() {
// _kDartIsolateSnapshotInstructions (c000) + code offset (c1a4)
var dumpOffset = '0x181a4'
var argBufferSize = 150
var address = Module.findBaseAddress('')
console.log('\n\nbaseAddress: ' + address.toString())

Analyzing the reFlutter dump

This is the list of methods of the internal Dart:_http library
Obfuscated functions names of library “cuf”

Malware analyst’s angle

Notice the URLs going to amelimoncompte[.]blogpost[.]com

What’s the goal?

Applications developed by “santotosapps” in Google Play Store. Notice how each app look alike: a large rectangular icon with simple upper case font.


Mobile and IoT malware researcher. The postings on this account are solely my own opinion and do not represent my employer.

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Mobile and IoT malware researcher. The postings on this account are solely my own opinion and do not represent my employer.

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