If you try to grep a file and you get something like the following:
Binary file [some_file] matches
...this is what's happening...
[from the grep man page]
Normally, if the first few bytes of a file indicate that the file contains binary data, grep outputs only a message saying that the file matches the pattern.
To force the file to be treated as text, use the -a (or --text) option.
# grep -a pattern some_file
This option causes grep to act as if the file is a text file, even if it would otherwise be treated as binary.
NOTE: the result might be binary garbage printed to the terminal, which can have nasty side-effects if the terminal driver interprets some of it as commands.