Watchers are used to record memory at 2 different points in time, then report if and how it changed.
[0x00000000]> cw? Usage: cw [args] Manage compare watchers; See if and how memory changes | cw?? Show more info about watchers | cw addr sz cmd Add a compare watcher | cw[*qj] [addr] Show compare watchers (*=r2 commands, q=quiet) | cwd [addr] Delete watcher | cwr [addr] Revert watcher | cwu [addr] Update watcher
First, create one with
cw addr sz cmd. This will record
sz bytes at
The command is stored and used to print the memory when shown.
# Create a watcher at 0x0 of size 4 using p8 as the command [0x00000000]> cw 0 4 p8
To record the second state, use
cwu. Now, when you run
cw, the watcher will
report if the bytes changed and run the command given at creation with the size
and address. When an address is an optional argument, the command will apply
to all watchers if you don't pass one.
# Introduce a change to the block of data we're watching [0x00000000]> wx 11223344 # Update all watchers [0x00000000]> cwu # Show changes [0x00000000]> cw 0x00000000 modified 11223344
You may overwrite any watcher by creating another at the same address. This will discard the existing watcher completely.
# Overwrite our existing watcher to display a bistream instead of # hexpairs, and make the watched area larger [0x00000000]> cw 0 8 pB # Check that it's no longer "modified" as this is a new watcher [0x00000000]> cw 0x00000000 0001000100100010001100110100010000000000000000000000000000000000
When you create a watcher, the data read from memory is marked as "new".
Updating the watcher with
cwu will mark this data as "old", and then read the
cwr will mark the current "old" state as being "new", letting you reuse it as
your new base state when updating with
cwu. Any existing "new" state from
cwu previously is lost in this process. Showing a watcher without
updating will still run the command, but it will not report changes.
# Create a basic watcher [0x00000000]> cw 0 4 p8 [0x00000000]> cw 0x00000000 00000000 # Modify the memory and update the watcher [0x00000000]> wx 11223344 [0x00000000]> cwu # Watcher reports modification # The "new" state is 11223344, and the "old" state is 00000000 [0x00000000]> cw 0x00000000 modified 11223344 # Revert the watcher [0x00000000]> cwr # The "new" state is 00000000 again, and there is no "old" state # The watcher reports no change since it is no longer up-to-date [0x00000000]> cw 0x00000000 11223344
Watched memory areas may overlap with no ill effects, but may have unexpected results if you update some but not others.
# Create a watcher that watches 512 bytes starting at 0 [0x00000000]> cw 0 0x200 p8 # Create a watcher that watches 16 bytes starting at 0x100 [0x00000000]> cw 0x100 0x10 p8 # Modify memory watched by both watchers [0x00000000]> wx 11223344 @ 0x100 # Watchers aren't updated, so they don't report a change [0x00000000]> cw* cw 0x00000000 512 p8 cw 0x00000100 16 p8 # Update only the watcher at 0x100 [0x00000000]> cwu 0x100 # Since only one watcher was updated, the other can't # report the change [0x00000000]> cw* cw 0x00000000 512 p8 cw 0x00000100 16 p8 # differs
Here is an example of using a disassembly command to watch code being modified.
# Write an initial binary blob for the example [0x00000000]> wx 5053595a # Use pD since it counts by bytes [0x00000000]> cw 0 4 pD # Watcher prints disassembly [0x00000000]> cw 0x00000000 0x00000000 50 push rax 0x00000001 53 push rbx 0x00000002 59 pop rcx 0x00000003 5a pop rdx # Modify the code [0x00000000]> wx 585b5152 [0x00000000]> cwu # Watcher prints different disassembly and reports a change [0x00000000]> cw 0x00000000 modified 0x00000000 58 pop rax 0x00000001 5b pop rbx 0x00000002 51 push rcx 0x00000003 52 push rdx