Posted by Virus Bulletin on Mar 6, 2014
'Software taggant system' and 'clean file metadata exchange' discussed at previous VB conferences.
Wouldn't it be nice if providers of software packers included a licence key in the packer, so that anti-malware solutions could distinguish legitimate from malign use - and, if needed, blacklist those keys used by malware authors?
And wouldn't it also be nice if authors of legitimate software would share the software's metadata so that anti-malware solutions could use that to avoid blocking the files as false positives?
A group of security researchers thought exactly that: Symantec's Mark Kennedy and McAfee's Igor Muttik spoke about the 'software taggant system' at VB2011 and VB2012, and about 'clean file metadata exchange' at VB2013.
Their work, along with that of others in a working group operating under the umbrella of the IEEE, has led to the IEEE Anti-Malware Support Service, which allows software developers to submit file metadata and packer certificates and lets security vendors to obtain this data (for a fee). More details can be found on the service's page at the IEEE here.
What I've always liked about the security community in general, and about VB conferences in particular, is that it is common for people working for competitor companies to work together for the greater good. I was thus pleased to see that these systems have now been made available though a reputable association, and many within the industry - and thus, by implication, many millions of end-users - will benefit.
Have you done some exciting research, on your own, with colleagues or perhaps with someone working for a competitor? Why not submit an abstract for VB2014, which takes place 24-26 September 2014 in Seattle. The deadline for submissions is 7 March 2014.
Posted on 06 March 2014 by Martijn Grooten