[Vol-users] Insmod lime.lo on stock Samsung Galaxy S3 results in Exec format error

Rob Hunter robert.edward.hunter at gmail.com
Sat Dec 19 06:14:34 CST 2015

Hello list,

This is my first post to this list. My name is Rob, I'm located in the
Netherlands and am looking for some help in dumping the memory of an
Android phone so I can inspect it in Volatility. A bit of background as to
where I'm currently at with Volatility.

I've successfully compiled LiME against a standard linux kernel running on
Intel, created a profile with dwarfdump etc., dumped the memory and can use
the plugins successfully.

I've also installed Cyanogenmod 12.1 on a GalaxyS2 and can run LiMe on it
and dump the RAM. I have a problem with the profile not loading in
Volatility but that's for another post :-)  I can run strings on the dump
and recover meaningful information though.

Cutting to the chase...
My target phone is a stock Samsung Galaxy S3. I've looked at the device
settings and have downloaded the matching kernel source code from Samsungs
opensource website, taking care to make sure the build versions string
matches. The phone has developer settings and usb debugging enabled. I have
also rooted the phone and the SuperSU binary is installed and configured to
grant root always without prompting.

I've tried using toolchain versions 4.9 and 4.8 but the Samsung source code
will not compile without modifications to the makefile relating to warnings
being interpreted as errors. I'm therefore using version 4.7.

I've compiled the kernel modules which generated a module.symvers:

0x82d9772c    bcmsdh_remove    drivers/net/wireless/bcmdhd/dhd
0x9cad0f4b    bcmsdh_probe    drivers/net/wireless/bcmdhd/dhd

I then compiled LiME with this make file...

obj-m := lime.o
lime-objs := tcp.o disk.o main.o

KDIR :=~/ANDROID/S3Kernel/Kernel
PWD := $(shell pwd)

ARCH := arm

.PHONY: modules modules_install clean distclen help

    $(MAKE) ARCH=arm SUBARCH=arm -C $(KDIR) M=$(PWD)
    mv lime.ko limeS3.ko

...and this generates the following output

dfir at ThinkPad-T420:~/ANDROID/S3Kernel/LiME/src$ make
make ARCH=arm SUBARCH=arm -C ~/ANDROID/S3Kernel/Kernel
EXTRA_CFLAGS=-fno-pic modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/home/dfir/ANDROID/S3Kernel/Kernel'
  CC [M]  /home/dfir/ANDROID/S3Kernel/LiME/src/tcp.o
  CC [M]  /home/dfir/ANDROID/S3Kernel/LiME/src/disk.o
  CC [M]  /home/dfir/ANDROID/S3Kernel/LiME/src/main.o
  LD [M]  /home/dfir/ANDROID/S3Kernel/LiME/src/lime.o
  Building modules, stage 2.
  MODPOST 1 modules
  CC      /home/dfir/ANDROID/S3Kernel/LiME/src/lime.mod.o
  LD [M]  /home/dfir/ANDROID/S3Kernel/LiME/src/lime.ko
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/dfir/ANDROID/S3Kernel/Kernel'
mv lime.ko limeS3.ko

After successfully compilation there is also a module.symvers file located
in LiME directory but it is empty. I wonder if this is indicative of my

I then move limeS3.ko to my phone and connect to it with adb
adb forward tcp:4444 tcp:4444
adb shell

this gets me to a root prompt on the device and I can move freely around
the file system.
I then move to the location where limeS3.ko is installed and enter the

root at m0:/storage/extSdCard # insmod ./limeS3.ko "path=tcp:4444

which gives the following error.
insmod: init_module './limeS3.ko' failed (Exec format error)

I've searched for this error and ensured the kernel version is correct.
Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong so I can get the driver loaded?

I realize that this was a long first post. Thank-you for taking the time to
read this far. I hope someone can point me in the right direction.

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