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." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.