Qemu vs sstrip

Qemu usually does a great job emulating embedded Linux applications, but as with anything you will occasionally run into bugs. While attempting to debug an embedded application in Qemu the other day, I ran into the following error:

eve@eve:~/firmware$ sudo chroot . ./qemu-mips bin/ls 
bin/ls: Invalid ELF image for this architecture

This error is usually indicative of using the wrong endian emulator, but I knew that the target binary was big endian MIPS. The file utility began to shed some light on the issue:

eve@eve:~/firmware$ file bin/busybox 
bin/busybox: ELF 32-bit MSB executable, MIPS, MIPS-I version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), corrupted section header size

Hmmm, a corrupted section header? Let’s take a closer look at the binary.

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