Paper: Behavioural Detection and Prevention of Malware on OS X

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   Sep 12, 2016

Though still well behind that of Windows malware, the prevalence of malware targeting OS X has increased in the past year to the point where Mac users can't assume they are safe just because of the operation system they are using. The question of how to effectively detect new Mac malware is one that is becoming increasingly important for the security community.

Today, we publish a paper (also as pdf) by Vincent Van Mieghem, a former student at Delft University of Technology, who introduces a novel way of detecting malware running on OS X.

Vincent looked at patterns among the system calls used by known malware samples, and compared these to the calls used by legitimate software. This helped him to find patterns in the system calls that would be indicative of malicious behaviour.

He used this technique against a set of newly discovered malware samples and found a 100% detection rate. He also looked at false positives and found that it varied from 0% for typical users to 20% for 'power users' (who tend to use many developer tools, which often exhibit behaviours that are less easy to distinguish from those of malware).

The research was done as part of Vincent's Master's thesis, which he wrote during an internship at Fox-IT. (Vincent currently works for PwC Cybersecurity.)

Figure2-vanMieghem.jpg

The increasing prevalence of OS X malware is also reflected in the VB2016 programme, which includes several papers on the subject. Registration for the conference is still open - have you registered yet?

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2019 paper: Domestic Kitten: an Iranian surveillance program

At VB2019 in London, Check Point researchers Aseel Kayal and Lotem Finkelstein presented a paper detailing an Iranian operation they named 'Domestic Kitten' that used Android apps for targeted surveillance. Today we publish their paper and the video…

VB2019 video: Discretion in APT: recent APT attack on crypto exchange employees

At VB2019 in London, LINE's HeungSoo Kang explained how cryptocurrency exchanges had been attacked using Firefox zero-days. Today, we publish the video of his presentation.

VB2019 paper: DNS on fire

In a paper presented at VB2019, Cisco Talos researchers Warren Mercer and Paul Rascagneres looked at two recent attacks against DNS infrastructure: DNSpionage and Sea Turtle. Today we publish their paper and the recording of their presentation.

German Dridex spam campaign is unfashionably large

VB has analysed a malicious spam campaign targeting German-speaking users with obfuscated Excel malware that would likely download Dridex but that mostly stood out through its size.

Paper: Dexofuzzy: Android malware similarity clustering method using opcode sequence

We publish a paper by researchers from ESTsecurity in South Korea, who describe a fuzzy hashing algorithm for clustering Android malware datasets.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.