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RmThread - Code execution in Another Process Context.

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17 Aug 2006CPOL3 min read 76.2K   2.1K   35   12
An injection code tool to make simple run threads remotely.

Sample Image - rmthread.gif


RmThread is a project that I made based on one of three ideas from the Robert Kuster article, "Three Ways to Inject Your Code into Another Process". However, I didn't use any code. I wanted to learn about it, searched over the net, and got influenced by the CreateRemoteThread & LoadLibrary technique. The rest was a prescription of "quite right function calls" and MSDN.

The project is useful for someone who need to run some code in a neighbor process, but doesn't want to worry about remote thread technique development. He wants just to write the code to run remotely. The demo project, RmThread.exe, works precisely to do the dirty thing. You say what process to run and the DLL to load, and it starts the process and loads the DLL in the process context. The rest remains in the DLL code.

To write your DLL, there's a demo project that uses a technique that I created to run some code starting from the DllMain execution (apart from another DLL function calling) and doesn't be a slave of its limitations (like: you can safely call only kernel32.dll functions).

Using the code

There're three useful functions that could be called from your program:

/** Run process and get rights for running remote threads. */ 
HANDLE CreateAndGetProcessGodHandle(LPCTSTR lpApplicationName, 
                                            LPTSTR lpCommandLine);

/** Load DLL in another process. */
HMODULE RemoteLoadLibrary(HANDLE hProcess, LPCTSTR lpFileName);

/** Free DLL in another process. */
BOOL RemoteFreeLibrary(HANDLE hProcess, HMODULE hModule);

Here's a simplified main routine showing how simple it is to use the functions:

   // Start process and get handle with powers.
   hProc = CreateAndGetProcessGodHandle(tzProgPath, tzProgArgs);

   if( hProc != NULL )
      // Load DLL in the create process context.
      HMODULE hDll = RemoteLoadLibrary(hProc, tzDllPath);

      if( hDll != NULL )
         RemoteFreeLibrary(hProc, hDll);


The most complicated thing maybe what to do when your DLL is loaded. Considering that when it is called in your entry point, the DLL code has to follow some boring rules to avoid boring things like access violations (for more, read the DllMain help at MSDN). I made an "alternative execution", creating a thread in the DllMain function:

        DWORD ul_reason_for_call, LPVOID lpReserved) {
   switch( ul_reason_for_call )
         DWORD dwThrId;

         // Fill global variable with handle copy of this thread.
         BOOL bRes =
         if( bRes == FALSE ) break;

         // Call function that do the useful stuff with its DLL handle.
                                  (LPVOID) LoadLibrary(g_tzModuleName),

The tasks for our newly created thread, by its turn are, to wait for the DllMain finalization (we'd have its handle stored in g_hThrDllMain), to do what it must to do (the all this stuff purpose), and to get back, releasing at the same time the DLL handle allocated for itself:

 * Sample function, called remotely for RmThread.exe.
DWORD WINAPI RmThread(LPVOID lpParameter) {
   HMODULE hDll = (HMODULE) lpParameter;
   LPCTSTR ptzMsg = 
           _T("Congratulations! Did you call RmThread.dll successfully!");

   // Wait DllMain termination.
   WaitForSingleObject(g_hThrDllMain, INFINITE);

   //TODO: Put your remote code here.
              MB_OK | MB_ICONINFORMATION);
   // Do what the function name says.
   FreeLibraryAndExitThread(hDll, 0);

The TODO mark is where your code must be written (you can pull out the MessageBox, if you want). Like DllMain code was previously executed, this part of the code is free to do what it wants to do in the neighbor process context.

An interesting detail is the requirement to call FreeLibraryAndExitThread. In another way, if you call FreeLibrary and then return, the code to be executed after that (a simple ret assembly instruction) would be in an invalid memory address (the DLL code is no more loaded at the address space). So, the result could not be so delightful like the final solution.

Points of Interest

A boring problem that you can find is: if the DLL couldn't be loaded successfully, how can I get the error code? Unfortunately, there's no trivial way to get the error code returned from LoadLibrary call. In order for the thread to start and finish in this API function, the LastError code is lost (there's a LastError for each thread in the process). Any idea?


  • 2004.06.11 - version released.
  • 2004.06.13 - Support to VC6 project.
  • 2006.08.17 - Support for VS2005.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Technical Lead Intelitrader
Brazil Brazil
Wanderley Caloni
Backend Specialist
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
C, C++, Assembly, Windows, x86, Reverse Engineering, Cryptography, Tech/Art Writing, Debugging, Git, SQL

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralApplication Pin
Somen Shaw22-Jul-08 1:26
Somen Shaw22-Jul-08 1:26 
GeneralRe: Application Pin
Wanderley Caloni22-Jul-08 3:11
professionalWanderley Caloni22-Jul-08 3:11 
GeneralDelete the dll file after loading Pin
Davidi21-Jul-04 5:54
Davidi21-Jul-04 5:54 
GeneralRe: Delete the dll file after loading Pin
Wanderley Caloni21-Jul-04 15:58
professionalWanderley Caloni21-Jul-04 15:58 
GeneralHeavy footprint. Pin
WREY13-Jun-04 20:02
WREY13-Jun-04 20:02 
GeneralRe: Heavy footprint. Pin
Wanderley Caloni14-Jun-04 7:19
professionalWanderley Caloni14-Jun-04 7:19 
QuestionVC6 sample? Pin
WREY13-Jun-04 4:30
WREY13-Jun-04 4:30 
AnswerRe: VC6 sample? Pin
Wanderley Caloni13-Jun-04 9:23
professionalWanderley Caloni13-Jun-04 9:23 
GeneralMissing files. Pin
WREY13-Jun-04 10:02
WREY13-Jun-04 10:02 
GeneralRe: Missing files. Pin
Wanderley Caloni13-Jun-04 13:11
professionalWanderley Caloni13-Jun-04 13:11 
GeneralRe: Missing files. Pin
WREY13-Jun-04 18:40
WREY13-Jun-04 18:40 
GeneralRe: Missing files. Pin
Wanderley Caloni14-Jun-04 3:46
professionalWanderley Caloni14-Jun-04 3:46 

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