Grep Syntax

A number of GRR flows (such as the File Finder) accept Grep specifications, which are a powerful way to search file and memory contents. There are two types of grep syntax: literal and regex.

Literal Matches

Use this when you have a simple string to match, or want to match a byte string. Here’s a simple string example (note no quotes required):


And a byte string example:


To minimise the potential for errors we recommend using python to create byte strings for you where possible, e.g. the above byte string was created in ipython like this:

In [1]: content = open("test.exe","rb").read(12)

In [2]: content
Out[2]: 'MZ\x90\x00\x03\x00\x00\x00\x04\x00\x00\x00'

Regex Matches

Use this when you need more complex matching. The format is a regular python regex (see with the following switches applied automatically:


An example regex is below. The entire match is reported, () groups are not broken out separately. Also note that 10 bytes before and after will be added to any matches by default - use the Advanced menu to change this behavior:

Accepted [^ ]+ for [^ ]+ from [0-9.]+ port [0-9]+ ssh