Adrian Hada

Principal Security Researcher Ixia, a Keysight Business


Adrian Hada works as Principal Security Researcher at Ixia, a Keysight Business. Adrian holds a MSc in Information Security from Military Technical Academy in Bucharest. Adrian specializes in gathering Threat Intelligence on the latest Malware, Botnets, and exploitation practices being seen in network attacks. Adrian continuously improves the ATI Research Centers ability to detonate and analyze malware, providing Ixia’s customers with actionable intelligence and protection from the newest evolved threats.

Emulating Packed Linux Malware Using the Unicorn Emulator Framework

Binary packing has been around for a good number of years now. Uses include both benign – such as software and intellectual property protection – as well as malicious – malware authors use packing to avoid detection by common security products. The latter is of utmost interest in the security world.

Although most packed executables reside in the world of Windows malware, the past couple of years have shown more and more Linux threats adopting packing for the same purpose.

While common off-the-shelf packers, such as UPX, allow simple decompression of the packed binary, some malware authors rely on minor modifications or custom code to break the decompression process. Analyzing these samples is, generally, a complicated act of manual labor that requires a skilled analyst to break through the layers of obfuscation or relying on the automated yet resource-intensive sandbox. Analyzing malware samples at scale can’t rely on either of these approaches easily or cheaply.

In this presentation I’ll explain a work-in-progress project of emulating packed Linux binaries up to the point that we’re able to dump the underlying executable. This is achieved using the Unicorn Emulator, a framework that is based on QEMU but is much more customizable and easier to use. Although Unicorn is able to execute sequences of CPU instructions extremely well, the project doesn’t aim to perform full-binary execution leaving steps such as loading the binary, handling system calls, library functions and others to the person using the engine. I will explain the challenges of such an undertaking and offer a couple of examples of how this approach can actually work, as well as what its limitations are.

Are you the next cyber security superstar?

If you are passionate about an information security topic or you have strong technical skills developing researches on your own, you should definitely Apply at Call for Papers. By submitting you will have the chance to showcase your work to +2000 attendees.

Other speakers joining this year

Radu Emanuel Chiscariu

Senior Security Research Engineer Ixia, a Keysight Business

Mircea Hasegan

Principal Software Engineer Ixia, a Keysight Business

Ionel Chirita

Threat Intelligence Manager Signify

Ready for this year's presentations?

By registering you will unlock access to 60+ speakers and two full days with cyber security news & showcases from worldwide leaders.


Sponsors & Partners

They help us make this conference possible.


Orange Romania is part of the Orange Group, one of the largest global telecommunications operators that connects hundreds of millions of customers worldwide. With over 11 million local customers and an annual turnover exceeding 1.5 billion euros, Orange Romania connects 1 in 2 Romanians and offers an extensive range of communication solutions for both individual and corporate customers, from basic connectivity services to complete mobile, fixed internet, TV packages, and complex IT&C solutions through Orange Business

Orange Romania is the number 1 operator in terms of network performance, and also holds nine consecutive Top Employer certifications, which confirm that Orange Romania, in addition to the remarkable products and services it offers, pays special attention to its employees and working environment. In the past 3 years Orange has launched two 5G Labs in Bucharest and Iasi, that aim to support researchers, startups and companies to test their 5G solutions in advance. 

In addition, Orange is a long-term supporter of the startup ecosystem through the Orange Fab accelerator program designed to support entrepreneurs in the development of innovative products and their distribution locally and internationally.

Gold Partners

Silver Partners

Bronze Partner