Bulletin

An indispensable source of reference for anyone concerned with computer security, the Bulletin is the forum through which leading security researchers publish the latest security research and information in a bid to share knowledge with the security community. Publications cover the latest threats, new developments and techniques in the security landscape, opinions from respected members of the industry, and more. The Bulletin archives offer informative articles going back to 1989. Our editorial team is happy to hear from anyone interested in submitting a paper for publication.

Powering the distribution of Tesla stealer with PowerShell and VBA macros

Aditya K. Sood (SecNiche Security)
Rohit Bansal (SecNiche Security)

Since their return more than four years ago, Office macros have been one of the most common ways to spread malware. In this paper, Aditya K Sood and Rohit Bansal analyse a campaign in which VBA macros are used to execute PowerShell code, which in…

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VB2017 paper: Android reverse engineering tools: not the usual suspects

Axelle Apvrille (Fortinet)

In the Android security field, all reverse engineers will probably have used some of the most well-known analysis tools such as apktool, smali, baksmali, dex2jar, etc. These tools are indeed must‑haves for Android application analysis. However, there…

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VB2017 paper: Exploring the virtual worlds of advergaming

Chris Boyd (Malwarebytes)

As adverts in gaming (‘advergaming’) ecosystems continue to become more sophisticated, so the potential complications grow for parents, children and gamers, who just want to play without having to worry about where their data is going (and how it is…

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Distinguishing between malicious app collusion and benign app collaboration: a machine-learning approach

Irina Mariuca Asavoae (Swansea University)
Jorge Blasco (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Thomas M. Chen (City University London)
Harsha Kumara Kalutarage (Queen's University Belfast)
Igor Muttik (Cyber Curio)
Hoang Nga Nguyen (Coventry University)
Liam O’Reilly (Swansea University)
Markus Roggenbach (Swansea Univeristy)
Siraj Ahmed Shaikh (Coventry University)

Two or more mobile apps, viewed independently, may not appear to be malicious - but in combination, they could become harmful by exchanging information with one another and by performing malicious activities together. In this paper we look at how…

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VB2016 paper: Wild Android collusions

Prof. Igor Muttik (Intel Security)
Prof. Markus Roggenbach (Swansea University)
Dr Jorge Blasco (City University, London)
Prof. Thomas M. Chen (City University, London)

Mobile operating systems support multiple communication methods between apps. Unfortunately, these handy inter-app communication mechanisms also make it possible to carry out harmful actions in a collaborative fashion. Two or more mobile apps, viewed…

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VB2017 paper: The life story of an IPT – Inept Persistent Threat actor

Adam Haertlé (BadCyber.com)

This paper describes the ability of an amateur attacker with no technical skills to achieve success in his criminal enterprise. We will follow a Polish threat actor, known as ‘Thomas’, in his career as a wannabe cybercriminal from late 2011 until…

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VB2017 paper: The router of all evil: more than just default passwords and silly scripts

Himanshu Anand (Symantec)
Chastine Menrige (Symantec)

In the last couple of years, we have seen a few highly sophisticated router attacks and pieces of malware. This paper looks at two case studies: the Netgear router attack involving the Multiple Netgear Routers Remote Command Injection Vulnerability…

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A review of the evolution of Andromeda over the years before we say goodbye

Bahare Sabouri (Fortinet)
He Xu (Fortinet)

Andromeda, also known as Gamaru and Wauchos, is a modular and HTTP-based botnet that was discovered in late 2011. From that point on, it managed to survive and continue hardening by evolving in different ways. This paper describes the evolution of…

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VB2012 paper: Malware taking a bit(coin) more than we bargained for

Amir Fouda (Microsoft)

When a new system of currency gains acceptance and widespread adoption in a computer-mediated population, it is only a matter of time before malware authors attempt to exploit it. As of halfway through 2011, we started seeing another means of…

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VB2017 paper: VirusTotal tips, tricks and myths

Randy Abrams (Independent researcher)

Outside of the anti-malware industry, users of VirusTotal generally believe it is simply a virus-scanning service. Most users quickly reach erroneous conclusions about the meaning of various scanning results. At the same time, many very technical…

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