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

Tackling packed samples

Perhaps one of the more common problems faced by analysts during the dynamic analysis phase of malware analysis is the encountering of samples that are packed, either by a commercially available packer such as UPX, or from a custom "roll-your-own" implementation from the threat actor.

In the case of a packed malware sample utilizing a commercial packer such as UPX or Themida, the easiest way is obviously to utilize the commercial unpacking tool to simply obtain the raw binary.

However, in some instances, this may not necessarily be possible, particularly if it is an altered version of a commercial packer, or if it is a custom-written packer for the piece of malware in question.

Recognizing packed malware

We've previously discussed how to recognized packed malware via entropy. However, there are a few other ways as well. If strings are run on a packed sample, there will often be no recognizable strings that are found within the sample...