Book Image

Malware Analysis Techniques

By : Dylan Barker
Book Image

Malware Analysis Techniques

By: Dylan Barker

Overview of this book

Malicious software poses a threat to every enterprise globally. Its growth is costing businesses millions of dollars due to currency theft as a result of ransomware and lost productivity. With this book, you'll learn how to quickly triage, identify, attribute, and remediate threats using proven analysis techniques. Malware Analysis Techniques begins with an overview of the nature of malware, the current threat landscape, and its impact on businesses. Once you've covered the basics of malware, you'll move on to discover more about the technical nature of malicious software, including static characteristics and dynamic attack methods within the MITRE ATT&CK framework. You'll also find out how to perform practical malware analysis by applying all that you've learned to attribute the malware to a specific threat and weaponize the adversary's indicators of compromise (IOCs) and methodology against them to prevent them from attacking. Finally, you'll get to grips with common tooling utilized by professional malware analysts and understand the basics of reverse engineering with the NSA's Ghidra platform. By the end of this malware analysis book, you’ll be able to perform in-depth static and dynamic analysis and automate key tasks for improved defense against attacks.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Section 1: Basic Techniques
Section 2: Debugging and Anti-Analysis – Going Deep
Section 3: Reporting and Weaponizing Your Findings
Section 4: Challenge Solutions

Dissecting the PE file format

In Microsoft Windows, binary files utilize a structured format – the Portable Executable (PE) file format. This format is utilized by the following types of files; though the way the OS interprets and utilizes them is different, they share the same general structure:

  • Control Panel Items (CPL)
  • Dynamic Link Library (DLL)
  • Driver (DRV) files
  • Windows Executable (EXE) applications
  • Multilingual User Interfaces (MUI)
  • Windows Screensaver (SCR) files
  • System (SYS) files
  • Shortcut (LNK) files

While this list is not exhaustive of all files that utilize the PE file format, for the purposes of this conversation, they are the most common. That is to say that these file formats are the ones most consistently utilized by malicious threat actors.

Analysis tip

Adversaries utilize various different forms of the PE file format, as the end result is usually the same – malicious code execution. However, their choice...