As you who are interested in Windows API hooking know, there is an excellent library for it by Microsoft Research named Detours. It's really useful, but its free edition (called 'Express') doesn't support the x64 environment. Though its commercial edition (called 'Professional') supports x64, it's too expensive for me to afford. It costs around US$10,000!
So I decided to write my own library or "poorman's Detours" from scratch. But I haven't designed my library as the perfect clone of Detours. It has just the API hooking functionality because that's all I want.
As of June 2014, this library is used in some projects: 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, NonVisual Desktop Access, QTTabBar, x360ce and more. I am happy finding that this project is helpful to people.
Using the Library
Look at the sample code below. That's all. It hooks the
MessageBoxW() function and modifies its text. This example is included in the source and binary archive. Please try it in both x64 and x86 modes.
The NuGet Package is now available for those who are familiar with NuGet.
#if defined _M_X64
#pragma comment(lib, "libMinHook.x64.lib")
#elif defined _M_IX86
#pragma comment(lib, "libMinHook.x86.lib")
typedef int (WINAPI *MESSAGEBOXW)(HWND, LPCWSTR, LPCWSTR, UINT);
MESSAGEBOXW fpMessageBoxW = NULL;
int WINAPI DetourMessageBoxW(HWND hWnd, LPCWSTR lpText, LPCWSTR lpCaption, UINT uType)
return fpMessageBoxW(hWnd, L"Hooked!", lpCaption, uType);
if (MH_Initialize() != MH_OK)
if (MH_CreateHook(&MessageBoxW, &DetourMessageBoxW,
reinterpret_cast<void**>(&fpMessageBoxW)) != MH_OK)
if (MH_EnableHook(&MessageBoxW) != MH_OK)
MessageBoxW(NULL, L"Not hooked...", L"MinHook Sample", MB_OK);
if (MH_DisableHook(&MessageBoxW) != MH_OK)
MessageBoxW(NULL, L"Not hooked...", L"MinHook Sample", MB_OK);
if (MH_Uninitialize() != MH_OK)
If you are a C++ user, you can write a small wrapper for
MH_CreateHook(). It allows you to remove annoying
reinterpret_casts like this:
template <typename T>
inline MH_STATUS MH_CreateHookEx(void* pTarget, void* const pDetour, T** ppOriginal)
return MH_CreateHook(pTarget, pDetour, reinterpret_cast<void**>(ppOriginal));
if (MH_CreateHookEx(&MessageBoxW, &DetourMessageBoxW, &fpMessageBoxW) != MH_OK)
How It Works
The basic concept of this software is the same as Microsoft Detours and Daniel Pistelli's Hook-Engine. It replaces the prologue of the target function with x86's
JMP (unconditional jump) instruction to the detour function. It's safe, stable, and a proven method.
Overwriting the Target Function
In the x64/x86 instruction set, there are some forms of the
JMP instruction. I decided to always use a 32 bit relative
JMP of 5 bytes. It's the shortest form that can be used in reality. In this case, shorter is better.
In x86 mode, 32bit relative
JMP covers the whole address space. Because the overflowed bits are just ignored in the relative address arithmetic, in x86 mode, the function addresses don't matter.
0x40000000: E9 FBFFFFBF JMP 0x0 (EIP+0xBFFFFFFB)
0x40000000: E9 FAFFFFBF JMP 0xFFFFFFFF (EIP+0xBFFFFFFA)
0x40000000: EB 80 JMP 0x3FFFFF82 (EIP-0x80)
0x40000000: EB 7F JMP 0x40000081 (EIP+0x7F)
0x40000000: 66E9 0080 JMP 0x3FFF8004 (EIP-0x8000)
0x40000000: 66E9 FF7F JMP 0x40008003 (EIP+0x7FFF)
But, in x64 mode, it's a problem. It only covers the very narrow range in comparison with the whole address space. So I introduced a new function called 'Relay Function' which just has a 64 bit jump to the detour function and is placed near the target function. Fortunately, the
VirtualAlloc() API function can accept the address to allocate, and it's an easy job to look for unallocated regions near the target function.
0x140000000: E9 00000080 JMP 0xC0000005 (RIP-0x80000000)
0x140000000: E9 FFFFFF7F JMP 0x1C0000004 (RIP+0x7FFFFFFF)
0x140000000: E9 FBFF0700 JMP 0x140080000 (RIP+0x7FFFB)
0x140080000: FF25 FAFF0000 JMP [0x140090000 (RIP+0xFFFA)]
Building the Trampoline Function
The target function is overwritten to detour. And, how do we call the original target function? In many cases, we have to call the original function from within the detour function. MinHook has a function called "Trampoline Function" for the purpose of calling the original function (and Daniel Pistelli call it "Bridge Function"). This is a clone of the prologue of the original function with the trailing unconditional jump for resuming into the original function. The real world examples are here. They are what
MinHook actually creates.
We should disassemble the original function to know the instructions boundary and the instructions to be copied. I adopted Vyacheslav Patkov's Hacker Disassembler Engine (HDE) as a disassembler. It's small, light-weight and suitable for my purpose. I disassembled thousands of API functions on Windows XP, Vista, and 7 for examination purposes, and built the trampoline function for them.
0x770E11E4: 4883EC 38 SUB RSP, 0x38
0x770E11E8: 4533DB XOR R11D, R11D
0x77064BD0: 4883EC 38 SUB RSP, 0x38
0x77064BD4: 4533DB XOR R11D, R11D
0x77064BD7: FF25 5BE8FEFF JMP QWORD NEAR [0x77053438 (RIP-0x117A5)]
0x7687FECF: 8BFF MOV EDI, EDI
0x7687FED1: 55 PUSH EBP
0x7687FED2: 8BEC MOV EBP, ESP
0x0014BE10: 8BFF MOV EDI, EDI
0x0014BE12: 55 PUSH EBP
0x0014BE13: 8BEC MOV EBP, ESP
0x0014BE15: E9 BA407376 JMP 0x7687FED4
What if the original function contains the branch instructions? Of course, they should be modified to point to the same address as the original.
0x771BD130: 83F9 03 CMP ECX, 0x3
0x771BD133: 7414 JE 0x771BD149
0x77069860: 83F9 03 CMP ECX, 0x3
0x77069863: 74 02 JE 0x77069867
0x77069865: EB 06 JMP 0x7706986D
0x77069867: FF25 1BE1FEFF JMP QWORD NEAR [0x77057988 (RIP-0x11EE5)]
0x7706986D: FF25 1DE1FEFF JMP QWORD NEAR [0x77057990 (RIP-0x11EE3)]
0x77057988: 49D11B7700000000 0x77057990: 35D11B7700000000
0x76479FF4: E8 DDFFFFFF CALL 0x76479FD6
0x00147D64: E8 6D223376 CALL 0x76479FD6
0x00147D69: E9 8B223376 JMP 0x76479FF9
0x763B7918: 33C0 XOR EAX, EAX
0x763B791A: 40 INC EAX
0x763B791B: C3 RET
0x763B791C: 90 NOP
0x0014585C: 33C0 XOR EAX, EAX
0x0014585E: 40 INC EAX
0x0014585F: C3 RET
The RIP relative addressing mode is also a problem in the x64 mode. Their relative addresses should be modified to point to the same addresses.
0x771B27F0: 488B05 11790C00 MOV RAX, [0x7727A108 (RIP+0xC7911)]
0x77067EB8: 488B05 49222100 MOV RAX, [0x7727A108 (RIP+0x212249)]
0x77067EBF: FF25 4BE3FEFF JMP QWORD NEAR [0x77056210 (RIP-0x11CB5)]
0x770E023C: 4883EC 38 SUB RSP, 0x38
0x770E0240: 488D05 71FCFFFF LEA RAX, [0x770DFEB8 (RIP-0x38F)]
0x77064A80: 4883EC 38 SUB RSP, 0x38
0x77064A84: 488D05 2DB40700 LEA RAX, [0x770DFEB8 (RIP+0x7B42D)]
0x77064A8B: FF25 CFE8FEFF JMP QWORD NEAR [0x77053360 (RIP-0x11731)]
Though this library is small and simple, I think it's practical enough. Please enjoy!
- 21 Jun, 2014: Updated the source to v1.2.2.
- Fixed compilation with Express Editions.
- Reduced the size of static libraries.
- 18 Jun, 2014: Updated the source to v1.2.1c.
- Translated the Japanese comments into English.
- Converted the source files from Shift-JIS to UTF-8.
- 16 Jun, 2014: Updated the source and binary files to v1.2.1.
- A lot of bug fixes and improvements. (thanks to jarredholman and RaMMicHaeL)
- Fixed compilation with VC2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013.
- 26 Nov, 2009: Updated the source, binary files and sample code
- Fixed a serious bug (thanks to xliqz)
- Changed the interface with the bug fix
- 23 Nov, 2009: Updated the source and binary files
- Fixed small bugs (internal type mismatch etc)
- Separated the .LIBs from the .DLLs
- Added the sample executables
- 22 Nov, 2009: Initial post