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.

VB2015 paper: It's A File Infector... It’s Ransomware... It's Virlock

Vlad Craciun (Bitdefender)
Andrei Nacu (Bitdefender)
Mihail Andronic (Bitdefender)

Win32.Virlock, with all its variations, is both a new kind of file infector and a piece of ransomware (screen-locker) at the same time. In this paper, we aim to cover the techniques used by this virus and discuss methods that can be used to detect…

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VB2015 paper: Sizing Cybercrime: Incidents and Accidents, Hints and Allegations

Stephen Cobb (ESET)

Cybercrime certainly feels like a major threat to the security of networked systems upon which so much of daily life depends in the world today. Criminals routinely use digital networks to steal data, defraud companies and consumers, and disrupt…

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VB2015 paper: The Evolution of Ransomware: From CryptoWall to CTBLocker

Christy Chung (Fortinet)
Neo Tan (Fortinet)

The CryptoLocker ransomware was first discovered in late 2013. Millions of computers were infected, billions of files were encrypted, and millions of dollars’ worth of ransom was collected within several months. It caught a lot of researchers’…

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VB2014 paper: Linux-based Apache malware infections: biting the hand that serves us all

Cathal Mullaney (Symantec)
Sayali Kulkarni (Symantec)

In their VB2014 paper, Cathal Mullaney and Sayali Kulkarni demonstrate that targeting Linux-based Apache web servers is an active and extremely effective method of malware infection. They present an overview of Linux malware and a technical analysis…

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VB2014 paper: Notes on click fraud: American story

Peter Kalnai (Avast Software)
Jaromir Horejsi (Avast Software)

The Blackbeard/Pigeon clickbot follows the path that was previously set by ZeroAccess. It uses a sophisticated method to stay persistent in a victim’s computer. Analysing this kind of threat is not a straightforward task, because the entire process…

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VB2014 paper: Can we trust a trustee? An in-depth look into the digitally signed malware industry

Adrian Stefan Popescu (Bitdefender)
Gheorghe Jescu (Bitdefender)

An increasing number of developers are using certificates issued by Certificate Authorities (CAs) to create a more trustworthy environment for users. Although certificates should be used by legitimate developers only, we are seeing an increasing…

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VB2014 paper: How they’re getting the data out of your network: a survey of methods used for exfiltration of sensitive data, recommendations for detection and protection

Eric Koeppen (IBM)

Exfiltration of data has been a feature of many attacks, where confidential customer information has been leaked to malicious actors - such infections can have disastrous effects on a company’s brand, customer loyalty, and competitive advantage. In…

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VB2014 paper: Protecting financial institutions from man-in-the-browser attacks

Xinran Wang (Shape Security)
Yao Zhao (Shape Security)

It is reported that more than 1,400 financial institutions have been targeted by attackers using banking trojans, and the top 15 targeted financial institutions were attacked by more than 50 per cent of the trojans in 2013. One major tactic of…

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VB2014 paper: Tech Support Scams 2.0: An inside look into the evolution of the classic Microsoft tech support scam

Jérôme Segura (Malwarebytes)

Tech support scams have been around for a long time, and despite all the attention they have received, they are only getting worse. Scammers are diversifying - no longer just using the Microsoft cold-calling technique but now also using deceptive ads…

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VB2014 paper: Evolution of Android exploits from a static analysis tools perspective

Anna Szalay (Sophos)
Jagadeesh Chandraiah (Sophos)

With Android being the fastest-growing mobile OS, and with a rapidly increasing number of Android malware samples in existence, it is important to acknowledge the risk of exploitation of security vulnerabilities by malware. In their VB2014 paper,…

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