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Consumer spyware: a serious threat with a different threat model

Consumer spyware is a growing issue and one that can have serious consequences: its use is increasingly common in domestic violence. But do our threat models consider the attacker with physical access to, and inside knowledge of the victim?
We all know the risks of having a device infected with malware: an anonymous adversary far away can encrypt your files and hold them to ransom; they can steal your personal data… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/04/consumer-spyware-serious-threat-different-threat-model/

VB2016 paper: Debugging and monitoring malware network activities with Haka

In their VB2016 paper, Stormshield researchers Benoît Ancel and Mehdi Talbi introduced Haka, an open-source language to monitor, debug and control malicious network traffic. Both their paper and the video recording of their presentation are now available …
Anyone who has ever analysed malware through its network communications will knows that this often involves ad-hoc scripts in languages like Python or Perl to decode the traffic.… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/04/vb2016-paper-debugging-and-monitoring-malware-network-activities-haka/

VB2016 paper: One-Click Fileless Infection

Symantec researchers Himanshu Anand and Chastine Menrige explain how a single click can lead to a compromised machine, without malware ever being stored on disk.
Over the last few years, we have seen a sharp increase in 'fileless' infections, where a machine is compromised without a malicious file ever being written to disk. Though not… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/03/vb2016-paper-one-click-fileless-infection/

VB2016 video: Nymaim: the Untold Story

Until very recently, the Nymaim banking trojan was a serious problem in Poland. Today, we publish the video of the VB2016 presentation by CERT Polska researchers Jarosław Jedynak and Maciej Kotowicz, in which they analyse this malware-dropper-turned-banki…
Every year, the Virus Bulletin conference programme includes a number of 'last-minute' papers: presentations on topics that are so hot, they are added to the programme only a few… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/02/vb2016-video-nymaim-untold-story/

VB2016 paper: Great crypto failures

Crypto is hard, and malware authors often make mistakes. At VB2016, Check Point researchers Yaniv Balmas and Ben Herzog discussed the whys and hows of some of the crypto blunders made by malware authors. Today, we publish their paper and the recording of …
"More malware is using cryptography, and more malware is using better cryptography," said Check Point researcher Yaniv Balmas on stage during VB2016. While the increased use of… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/01/vb2016-paper-great-crypto-failures/

Ransomware would be much worse if it wasn't for email security solutions

The latest VBSpam test brings good news: at least 199 out of every 200 emails containing a malicious attachment were blocked by email security solutions. All of the full solutions tested achieved a VBSpam award, with five earning a VBSpam+ award.
Many experts believe that ransomware is set to become an even worse problem in 2017 than it was in 2016 — which is rather bad news, given the damage it has already done. Still,… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/01/ransomware-would-be-so-much-worse-if-it-wasnt-email-security-solutions/

VB2016 paper: Open Source Malware Lab

At VB2016, ThreatConnect Director of Research Innovation Robert Simmons presented a paper on setting up an open source malware lab. Today, we share the accompanying paper and video.
Security experts aren't necessarily known for being skilled at predicting the future, but if there's one prediction they are guaranteed to get right, it's that there will be a lot… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/01/vb2016-paper-open-source-malware-lab/

Paper: Spreading techniques used by malware

In a new paper published by Virus Bulletin, Acalvio researcher Abhishek Singh discusses some of the techniques used by malware to increase its impact by spreading further.
Malware infections usually start with a user opening an attachment, visiting a link, or simply accessing an infected site with a vulnerable browser. But once malware has infected… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/december/paper-spreading-techniques-used-malware/

Conference review: Botconf 2016

Three members of the Virus Bulletin team attended the Botconf 2016 conference in Lyon, France last month, enjoying talks on subjects that ranged from state-sponsored attacks to exploit kits, and from banking trojans to cyber insurance.
This review was written by Martijn Grooten, Adrian Luca and Ionuț Răileanu. Though still only in its fourth year, Botconf has become one of the Virus Bulletin team's favourite… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/december/conference-review-botconf-2016/

VB2016 preview: Cryptography mistakes in malware

At VB2016, two talks will discuss mistakes made by malware authors in cryptographic implementations. Ben Herzog and Yaniv Balmas will present a paper in which they look at a number of these mistakes, while Malwarebytes researcher hasherezade will present …
"Don't roll your own crypto", software developers are often told: cryptography is hard and thus it is always safer to use a well-tested public library rather than writing your own… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/september/vb2016-preview-presentations-cryptography-mistakes-malware/

VB2016 preview: Debugging and Monitoring Malware Network Activities with Haka

In a VB2016 paper, Stormshield researchers Benoit Ancel and Mehdi Talbi will present a paper on Haka, a tool that can be used to monitor and debug malware's network communications.
Although some inventive (and often quite impractical) non-network-based ways to remotely control malware have been presented, most botnets use the normal Internet connection of… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/september/vb2016-preview-debugging-and-monitoring-malware-network-activities-haka/

Paper: Behavioural Detection and Prevention of Malware on OS X

In a new paper published through Virus Bulletin, Vincent Van Mieghem presents a novel method for detecting malware on Mac OS X, based on the system calls used by malicious software.
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… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/september/paper-behavioural-detection-and-prevention-malware-os-x/

Paper: The Journey of Evasion Enters Behavioural Phase

A new paper by FireEye researcher Ankit Anubhav provides an overview of evasion techniques applied by recently discovered malware.
Anti-detection techniques are almost as old as malware itself and have developed well beyond hash busting techniques. As security products adapt their detection tools, malware… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/07/paper-journey-evasion-enters-behavioural-phase/

Paper: How It Works: Steganography Hides Malware in Image Files

A new paper by CYREN researcher Lordian Mosuela takes a close look at Gatak, or Stegoloader, a piece of malware that was discovered last year and that is controlled via malicious code embedded in a PNG image, a technique known as steganography.
Sometimes a picture says more than a thousand words. And sometimes in computer security, a picture contains a thousand words, or rather a lot of commands, used by malware authors… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/04/paper-how-it-works-steganography-hides-malware-image-files/

Paying a malware ransom is bad, but telling people never to do it is unhelpful advice

The current ransomware plague is one of the worst threats the Internet has seen and it is unlikely to go away any time soon. But telling people to never pay the ransom is unhelpful advice.
I'm not usually one to spread panic about security issues, but in the case of the current ransomware plague, I believe that at the very least a sense of great concern is… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/04/paying-malware-ransom-bad-telling-people-never-do-it-unhelpful-advice/

New tool helps ransomware victims indentify the malware family

The people behind the MalwareHunterTeam have released a tool that helps victims of ransomware identify which of more than 50 families has infected their system, something which could help them find a tool to decrypt their files.
Malware infections are never fun, but ransomware is particularly nasty and the plague doesn't seem likely to cease any time soon: new families are spotted almost daily. A small… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/04/new-tool-helps-ransomware-victims-indentify-malware-family/

VB2015 paper: Will Android Trojans, Worms or Rootkits Survive in SEAndroid and Containerization?

Sophos researchers Rowland Yu and William Lee look at whether recent security enhancements to Android, such as SEAndroid and containerization, will be enough to defeat future malware threats.
Google's Android operating system may have a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to security, but it's worth noting that recent versions of the operating system have been… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/02/vb2015-paper-will-android-trojans-worms-or-rootkits-survive-seandroid-and-containerization/

VB2015 paper: Digital 'Bian Lian' (face changing): the Skeleton Key malware

Microsoft, Dell SecureWorks researchers analyse malware targeting Active Directory servers.
Microsoft, Dell SecureWorks researchers analyse malware targeting Active Directory servers. A year ago, researchers from Dell SecureWorks discovered a new kind of malware, dubbed… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/01/paper-digital-bian-lian-face-changing-skeleton-key-malware/

Malware likely cause of power cut in Ukraine

BlackEnergy malware previously linked to targeted attacks in the country.
BlackEnergy malware previously linked to targeted attacks in the country. When in late December hundreds of thousands of homes in Western Ukraine suffered power outages, many… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/01/malware-likely-cause-power-cut-ukraine/

Paper: Optimizing ssDeep for use at scale

Brian Wallace presents tool to optimize ssDeep comparisons.
Brian Wallace presents tool to optimize ssDeep comparisons. Malware rarely comes as a single file, and to avoid having to analyse each sample in a set individually, a fuzzy hashing… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2015/11/paper-optimizing-ssdeep-use-scale/

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