VB2018 video: Adware is just malware with a legal department - how we reverse engineered OSX/Pirrit, received legal threats, and survived

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   Mar 8, 2019

OSX/Pirrit was first analysed in 2016 by Cybereason's Amit Serper in a guest blog post for the Objective See blog. It is an interesting and technically thorough analysis of a piece of adware that, as is not uncommon, uses techniques borrowed from malware.

 

pirrit.pngPirrit appears as an unsigned executable inside an app bundle, source: Objective See.

What happened next is also not entirely unheard of: Cybereason and Amit himself both started receiving legal threats from the company behind the adware. This led to a follow-up report (pdf) in which not only was the adware analysed but the legal threats were also discussed and Cybereason outlined its reasons for referring to the software as 'malware'. The use of an OS X zero-day exploit certainly contributed to that.

At VB2018 in Montreal, Amit gave a presentation in which he discussed both the adware and the legal threats he and Cybereason received. We have now uploaded the video of Amit's presentation to our YouTube channel. It is well worth watching right to end, including the message he has for fellow malware researchers who may find themselves in a similar situation.

 

Don't forget you have until the end of next week (deadline 17 March) to submit a paper for VB2019, the upcoming Virus Bulletin conference, which takes place 2-4 October in London, UK.

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

 

Latest posts:

VB2018 paper and video: Android app deobfuscation using static-dynamic cooperation

Static analysis and dynamic analysis each have their shortcomings as methods for analysing potentially malicious files. Today, we publish a VB2018 paper by Check Point researchers Yoni Moses and Yaniv Mordekhay, in which they describe a method that…

VB2019 call for papers closes this weekend

The call for papers for VB2019 closes on 17 March, and while we've already received many great submissions, we still want more!

Registration open for VB2019 ─ book your ticket now!

Registration for VB2019, the 29th Virus Bulletin International Conference, is now open, with an early bird rate available until 1 July.

The VB2019 call for papers is about ... papers

When we are calling for papers for the Virus Bulletin conference as we are doing now, we really mean a written paper. But don't worry if you've never written a paper - we can help!

VB2018 video: Adware is just malware with a legal department - how we reverse engineered OSX/Pirrit, received legal threats, and survived

Amit Serper first analysed the OSX/Pirrit adware in 2016, highlighting some of its malware-like techniques, and soon afterwards started receiving legal threats from the company behind it. At VB2018 Amit gave a presentation in which he discussed both…

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.