Malware analysis can be a time consuming process, especially when dealing
with a sample from skilled attackers with time and money on their side .
There is no doubt that fully reversing malware and finding out how it works
is the most effective way to learn how to defend against it, but most
businesses don't have the time or the professional resources to do it.
There are ways in which you, a Computer Network Defender, can glean enough
information from malware to be used in IDS and AV signature creation, DNS
poisoning and blocking as well as sharing with the CND community. This can be
accomplished in a cost effective manner (maybe even free) and in an efficient
manner that can rival very long code based analysis. There are even cases
where in depth knowledge of how to fully reverse the sample is not needed.
It should be noted that this is a low tech, high level mechan... (more)
When I was working on a network assessment team for one of my customers, I
would routinely hear upset voices when we would present our findings. The
most common thing that the executives would say was, “Wait a minute,
aren’t we current on our updates? I saw the compliance report, and we were
all green right?”
“All green right?”
What that Information Security Officer was referring to was a slide that was
presented to him showing the level of compliance that the hosts on his
network were currently reporting. To him, this meant secure. It meant that
all of his systems were patche... (more)
Ok, ok, I know the title is a tad dramatic but hear me out on this one.
A well-known computer security professional and former NSA research scientist
wrote an editorial back in July 2012 stating, "Money spent on security
awareness training, is money wasted." Dave Aitel , a respected individual in
the world of Computer Security and current CTO of Immunity, made this
statement in light of the fact that several high profile intrusions had
occurred at the hands of employees who were targeted in spearphishing
attacks, some of which lacking in sophistication. I disagree with the above ... (more)
To some of us, seeing an email with malware embedded in a PDF, Word or Excel
attachment is common. In fact, it has become the new norm for malware
delivery to use file types that are not obviously malicious (versus something
like a .exe). Gone are the days of wide-open acceptance of all file
extensions for attachments within an email. In today's network
defense-in-depth techniques, one of the layers is naturally email security.
This includes the scrutinizing of emails for embedded links or attachments
that could be potentially malicious, scanning attachments for possible
In almost all professions, report writing is a requirement. Typically,
reports document the success and failures of a particular action. While it
may not be your favorite part of the job, report writing does validate your
work to the customer. In our profession, Cyber Security, we have the unique
challenge of communicating highly technical information in a non-technical
format, so that the impact of our efforts can be understood.
Early in my career I hated writing reports. Back then, I had a hard time
understanding why reports were so important. Little did I know that the