Feeds

Google-based malware search tool surfaces

Malicious code mining fails to undermine society

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

The creator of the Metasploit hacking tool has released code that can be used to find malicious software using specially-crafted Google search queries. The malware search engine created by H.D. Moore can be found here.

Google's search engine indexes not only file types such as PDFs and HTML files (for example), but executable files as well. Many, but not all, of these hits will correspond to legitimate download sites. Moore's malware search engine has been coded with around 300 malware signatures (plans are afoot to expand this database). The search engine searches the web to find live samples of executable files associated with these signatures.

The release of Moore's tool was partially prompted by recent research by net security firm Websense, which warned that Google can be used to search for malware. Websense (unlike Moore) didn't publically release any code but the findings of its research give some insight into the distribution of malicious binaries on the web.

Websense was able to collect thousands of pieces of malicious binaries, mostly posted to newsgroups with bogus names designed to trick users into executing computer viruses that pose as software cracks or pornographic images. It also found malware on forum sites, as well as compromised sites or underground hacking and virus writing sites. Websense found several pieces of spyware on poker and casino sites. It also found variants of the Bagel virus and Mytob worms, various trojans, and many other malicious binaries.

In a statement, Websense downplayed the threat posed by Google's malware indexing but it did warn that the feature might potentially be misused by malware authors. Google told IDG that it was working to block search results that pointed towards malicious executables. Moore said that Google was, in any case, a poor resource for hackers searching for malign executables.

"Attackers have much better sources of malware, and the items in the Google index are not recent or useful," he told IDG. "If anything, the Google index is a great tool for determining who distributes malware; the actual malware in question is not that interesting."

Metaspolit

The Metasploit Project provides information about security vulnerabilities and develops tools that aid penetration testing and the development of signature files for intrusion detection products. Its code, such as that used for the malware search engine, is released under an open source framework.

Used legitimately, the Metasploit tool allows security consultants and sys admin to identify and remediate against security vulnerabilities. But the tool can also be used by malicious hackers to search for security holes in targeted systems. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.