Feeds

Underground tools foil generic virus detection

Covert malware testing

Security for virtualized datacentres

Cybercrooks are developing covert tools to test malware before releasing it.

The effectiveness of malicious code is largely determined by whether or not it's detected by anti-virus scanners. By replicating the scans of leading security products using test tools located on underground forums and web pages, miscreants gain the chance to fine-tune their creations to make sure they aren't picked up by anti-virus heuristic (generic) detection.

The underground tools are technically similar to Hispasec’s legitimate Virus Total tool, according to Spanish anti-virus firm Panda Software. It notes that the increased interest in underground testing tools coincides with the removal of the "do not distribute the sample" option in Virus Total. The now compulsory feature means that samples of files scanned by Virus Total are sent to security firms.

Back in the day malware authors wanted to make a name for themselves by causing trouble; these days they're more interested in making sure of extending the half-life of money-making malware by making sure it attracts the minimum of attention and, as far as possible, creeps in under the radar of anti-virus tools. Non-disclosure testing of malware toolkits prior to this release aids this process, as well as creating income for unscrupulous coders happy to work for VXers.

"This recent increase of malware collaboration is very worrying and poses an active threat to security systems," said Dominic Hoskins of Panda Security UK. "Participating in such forums, exchanging knowledge and testing new malware ideas helps cybercrooks facilitate the development of more effective malware." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.