Feeds

Google-based malware search tool surfaces

Malicious code mining fails to undermine society

Reducing security risks from open source software

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.