Papers published in October 2015

Editor: Martijn Grooten

Throwback Thursday: Memetic Mass Mailers: Time to Classify Hoaxes as Malware? (July 2002)

In July 2002, Andrew Lee explained why an effective hoax could be as damaging as a mass-mailed fast-burning virus, and questioned whether we should begin to classify hoaxes as malware.

Andrew Lee - Team Anti-Virus, UK

Throwback Thursday: The Real Virus Problem (December 1993)

Thanks mainly to the marketing efforts of the anti-virus industry around the world, in 1993 the true extent of the computer virus problem has been efficiently concealed beneath a ragbag of pseudo-scientific projections, surveys, reports, forecasts and speculations. In December 1993, Jim Bates presented the findings of a survey of UK computer programmers, conducted without any input from the software vendors.

Jim Bates -

MWI-5: Operation HawkEye

Gabor Szappanos looks at a series of malware campaigns that used Office macros to download the commercial HawkEye keylogger.

Gabor Szappanos - Sophos, Hungary

Throwback Thursday: Misguided or malevolent? New trends in virus writing (February 2004)

Writing in February 2004, Stuart Taylor considers what he believes to be the start of a new trend in virus writing and wonders whether there is truly a criminal element entering virus writing.

Stuart Taylor - Sophos, UK


Latest articles:

Powering the distribution of Tesla stealer with PowerShell and VBA macros

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…

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

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…

VB2017 paper: Exploring the virtual worlds of advergaming

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…

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

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…

VB2016 paper: Wild Android collusions

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…