Security

Identifying Dormant Functionality in Malware Programs

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Executive Summary

To handle the growing flood of malware, security vendors and analysts rely on tools that automatically identify and analyze malicious code. Current systems for automated malware analysis typically follow a dynamic approach, executing an unknown program in a controlled environment (sandbox) and recording its runtime behavior. Since dynamic analysis platforms directly run malicious code, they are resilient to popular malware defense techniques such as packing and code obfuscation. Unfortunately, in many cases, only a small subset of all possible malicious behaviors is observed within the short time frame that a malware sample is executed. To mitigate this issue, previous work introduced techniques such as multipath or forced execution to increase the coverage of dynamic malware analysis.

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