ROP - Modify RDX even when there's no gadget

While performing ROP in an environment, it might be required to execute functions like:

  1. read(int fd, void *buf, size_t count)
  2. write(int fd, const void *buf, size_t count)
  3. sendfile(int out_fd, int in_fd, off_t *offset, size_t count)

It depends upon the value of register RDX. Also, Often it’s difficult to control it’s value as it’s hard to find gadgets for RDX. In most cases RDX has to satisfy the following condition for executing each of the above functions :

  1. read() : a non zero large number for RDX
  2. write() : a non zero large number for RDX
  3. sendfile() : RDX equals zero

Here I’m gonna list few functions that can affect the value of RDX, once they complete execution. These are the functions that are commonly found in the GOT table.

  1. puts() : sets RDX to a large non-zero number
  2. fwrite() : sets RDX to zero


If there’s no gadget for RDX in the binary, you can still manage to get a succesfull read() or write() or sendfile() by calling functions in GOT that doesn’t have much side-effects, but can set RDX to a value enough for getting our task done.