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Cisco: Don’t Let Malware Slip Through Your Fingers

Cisco: Don’t Let Malware Slip Through Your Fingers

Malware sometimes checks for user interaction as a form of evasion to avoid being detected by antiviruses and other security software, especially sandbox analysis environments. Threat Grid, Cisco’s advanced sandbox analysis environment, has recently added a new feature called User Emulation Playbooks to help ensure malware is properly detected. We will be covering both common evasion techniques and the details of the functionality of these playbooks throughout this post.

Detecting and stopping malware is a difficult problem to solve. As the methods of detection and prevention become more advanced so too do the techniques used by malware authors. Sandboxes are excellent tools that allow analysts to run malware in a safe environment in which malicious behavior can be observed. Unfortunately, a major drawback is that sandboxes without user interaction exhibit vastly different behavior than that of a real system. Most automated sandbox systems tend to run submitted samples but perform little-to-no user activity. Real users are likely to move the mouse, and click and type on their keyboards after running a program. The behavior of users allows malware to easily distinguish between real systems and automated analysis environments. Many types of malware will not execute fully in a sandbox.

Malware sandbox evasion has moved from simple sleeps designed to outlast sandbox runtimes to input checks and complex dialogue boxes that require clicking specific areas on the screen. Over the past year Threat Grid has seen an increase in the number of samples submitted which require some form of user input in order to fully execute their payloads. This blog post discusses how Threat Grid addresses some of these techniques with what we call user emulation Playbooks.

Read the entire article here, Don’t Let Malware Slip Through Your Fingers

Via the fine folks at Cisco Systems.

Cisco Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected.

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