Virus Bulletin - April 2014

Editor: Helen Martin

Technical Consultant: John Hawes

Technical Editor: Morton Swimmer

Consulting Editors: Ian Whalley, Nick FitzGerald, Richard Ford, Edward Wilding



Threat intelligence sharing: tying one hand behind our backs

‘We will need to collaborate and implement standardized threat data sharing.' Chad Loeven

Chad Loeven - RSA, USA


The shape of things to come

Momentous changes are in the pipeline for VB – with an exciting future ahead. Helen Martin announces the changes that are in store for the publication and the company.

Helen Martin - Virus Bulletin, UK

Malware analyses

The curse of Necurs, part 1

The Necurs rootkit is composed of a kernel-mode driver and a user-mode component. The rootkit makes use of some very powerful techniques, but fortunately it also has some chinks in its armour. Peter Ferrie describes its strengths and weaknesses.

Peter Ferrie - Microsoft, USA

More fast or more dirty?

It is not uncommon, nowadays, for businesses to outsource their marketing to third parties - but sometimes, such business links lead to malicious activities. Ke Zhang dissects a piece of malware that generates referrer spam for a ‘web search site’ without its own search capability.

Ke Zhang - Baidu (Shenzhen), China

Tofsee botnet

The spam botnet Tofsee can be divided into three components: loader, core module and plug-ins. Ryan Mi describes how the components communicate with the C&C server, and how they work with one another.

Ryan Mi - Fortinet, Canada

Technical feature

Back to VBA

Last month’s issue of Virus Bulletin featured a detailed analysis of the Polarbot (a.k.a. Solarbot) trojan. The article covered just about everything you could ever want to know about it – except for one thing: how does a computer end up being infected with this creation? Gabor Szappanos fills the gap by detailing one of the infiltration methods that was used extensively in the attack.

Gabor Szappanos - Sophos, Hungary


Is the security industry up to the new challenges to come?

Working both as a product manager and as an IT security expert and evangelist for an IT security company, Sorin Mustaca has seen that, with the technologies and products that we have available, we can't mitigate all the attack vectors used by today’s cybercriminals. He asks whether the security industry is up to the new challenges to come.

Sorin Mustaca - Avira, Germany


Greetz from academe: No place to Hyde

In the latest of his ‘Greetz from Academe’ series, highlighting some of the work going on in academic circles, John Aycock looks at a paper that describes how malicious apps can be slipped past Apple’s app review process.

John Aycock - University of Calgary, Canada

Comparative review

VB100 comparative review on Windows 7

The VB test team put 35 products through their paces on Windows 7. John Hawes has the details.

John Hawes - Virus Bulletin


Anti-malware industry events

Must-attend events in the anti-malware industry - dates, locations and further details.


Latest articles:

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Some APT attacks are carried out by exploiting vulnerabilities in region-specific software. Government agencies frequently use such localized software, and this tends to be the target of attackers. In Japan, there have been many cases where attacks…

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Web application vulnerabilities are an important entry vector for threat actors. In this paper researchers Abhishek Singh and Ramesh Mani detail algorithms that can be used to detect SQL injection in stored procedures, persistent cross-site scripting…

VB2019 paper: Cyber espionage in the Middle East: Unravelling OSX.WindTail

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VB2019 paper: 2,000 reactions to a malware attack – accidental study

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VB2019 paper: Why companies need to focus on a problem they don't know they have

There is a type of crime, breach of company policy, misuse of company assets and security threat that is often overlooked: as one in 500 employees use their work computer to handle child sexual abuse material. This crime and misuse of company assets…

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