Malware is any software application which subverts the will of the legitimate owner of a computer, by means of force or subterfuge, with or without personal or monetary gain on the part of the creator.

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98
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8answers
67k views

How secure are virtual machines really? False sense of security?

I was reading this CompTIA Security+ SYO-201 book, and the author David Prowse claims that: Whichever VM you select, the VM cannot cross the software boundaries set in place. For example, a ...
84
votes
10answers
7k views

How do you explain the necessity of “nuke it from orbit” to management and users?

When a machine has been infected with malware, most of us here immediately identify the appropriate action as "nuke it from orbit" - i.e. wipe the system and start over. Unfortunately, this is often ...
55
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it safe to install malware in a VM

Is it safe to install malware in virtual machines? I would like to investigate malware, but I don't want to infect my own computer. Can I install the malware in a VMWare VM, maybe even without ...
31
votes
7answers
24k views

Is making a clean install enough to remove potential malware?

Is formatting the disk and reinstalling the system from scratch (to Ubuntu) enough to remove any potential hidden software spyware, keyloggers etc.? Or can something still persist installed in the ...
5
votes
2answers
346 views

What are ways I can analyze malware in an infected machine, not just clean it?

I often run into infected devices in my environment and would like to learn more about the specific infections that have gotten in. What are the best tools and techniques I could use to do this? I ...
32
votes
4answers
22k views

Does a Virtual Machine stop malware from doing harm?

I would like to know if it is save for the host system of a virtual machine (VM - VirtualBox OSE in my case) to execute malware. Can a virus break out and read or write data from the host system? ...
32
votes
3answers
46k views

Can you get virus just by visiting a website in Chrome?

I've recently read Google Chrome: The End of Drive-By Downloads. Is it true to say that drive-by-downloads are history in Google Chrome? So if I have a link (from a spam email) I can right-click >> ...
126
votes
5answers
16k views

How can USB sticks be dangerous?

We all know the story of the USB drive left outside a power plant which was found by a worker and inserted into a computer to see the contents which then allowed a hack to ensue. Here is my question, ...
54
votes
4answers
4k views

What security risks are posed by software vendors deploying SSL Intercepting proxies on user desktops (e.g. Superfish)

There has been quite a bit of concern noted relating to the recent discovery that Lenovo are pre-installing a piece of Adware (Superfish) which has the capability of intercepting SSL traffic from ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Methods of mitigating threats from keyloggers

I am concerned about keyloggers being installed on my system and transmitting sensitive data out of our network. Is there a common method that such malware uses to send its collection back to the ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the security implications of people downloading addons, wrongly thinking that they are safe?

I recently learned about a plugin for Firefox called Fire Sheep, which was featured on the Security Now podcast. I downloaded F.S. and began examining it. To my surprise it includes C++ code that must ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why should I restrict the content type of files be uploaded to my site?

We are building an application where users can upload resumes in our system for our administrators to download. We are having a debate about restricting the content type of the files that can be ...
16
votes
6answers
8k views

Finding a specific malware sample for malware analysis purposes

I wish to analyze the changes made by a specific virus. For example, Win32.Sality. Where can I get the sample of this, or other similar, malware for testing?
15
votes
4answers
2k views

How is a worm different from a virus?

In spite of various online articles, I'm a bit unclear on the distinction between a "worm" and a "virus". Two related questions-- Is there a useful and clear distinction here or no? If so, what is ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Can a guest virtual machine be compromised by a virus on the host machine?

All questions ask about the other way round, ie. can a virtual machine compromise the host. But I'm asking can a virus on the host machine compromise the guest virtual machine?
13
votes
4answers
888 views

Unknown malware, how to report it and whom to report it to?

I'm a professional Windows system administrator, but I've been caught off-guard (or maybe some malware writer has been very clever) and I caught some unknown malware on my home computer (Windows 7 x64 ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Any additional security with large blacklisting hosts file?

I run Windows with a pretty hefty c:/windows/system32/drivers/etc/hosts file obtained from http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm. I update this file as regularly as I remember and layer it with ...
62
votes
6answers
33k views

Should I get an antivirus for Ubuntu?

Considering the recent thread regarding anti-virus for the Mac I wonder how many of the arguments put forth are relevant today to Linux systems, specifically Ubuntu. There are no known Ubuntu ...
19
votes
4answers
5k views

Malwares source repositories. Where? [closed]

As the best way to learn is to read the code, do you know where I can find malware/virus/whatever source code to read?
25
votes
4answers
55k views

How to inject executable, malicious code into PDF, JPEG, MP3, etc.?

I wanted to know if its generally possible to inject executable code into files like PDFs or JPEGs etc., or must there be some kind of security hole in the application? And if so, how would one do ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Best practices for handling computer viruses

I realize this question may be quite broad (and hopefully not a violation of the FAQs), but I'm interested in hearing how many of you handle a computer infected with Malware. In a small-to-medium ...
23
votes
6answers
11k views

How do I safely inspect a suspicious email attachment?

I received a pretty blatantly spammy email to my Gmail account. I'm not really sure how it made it through the spam filters, since it has all of the telltale signs. The FROM field is spoofed as ...
9
votes
1answer
9k views

Looking for URL Blacklists of Malicious Websites [closed]

Is there a maintained list of URLs that contain malicious content. These URLs may be involved in Phishing, Scams, Viri, or other Malware. Please indicate in your answer if the list is freely ...
10
votes
2answers
22k views

Advice on what to do after being hacked? [duplicate]

After running a system scan earlier today, I found that my computer had been infected by a trojan horse. My reason for running the scan was because Windows kept shutting down and then recovering. ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Are official browser add-ons really safe?

Almost any browser addon/extension that I install on my Chrome or Firefox (be it Firebug, RESTClient, ...) warns me, saying: It [the add-on] can: Access your data on all website Access ...
23
votes
4answers
7k views

Are popular porn sites more likely to be infected with malware?

I'm trying to help my friend understand this because he believes that since a site is very popular, that it's less likely to infect its viewers because of its security! Is a popular site less likely ...
18
votes
4answers
708 views

Malware - are removal tools acceptable or is bare metal re-install the only safe option?

I see a number of companies offering "malware removal" services. I see some software that claims to be able to remove malware from an infected machine. Is using a removal software tool to 'clean' an ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Is disabling auto-run enough to protect against malicious code from removable media automatically infecting a machine?

If I block auto-run on a windows machine, is this enough to protect it from malicious code (assuming I don't run any files manually)? Or are there known vulnerabilities that may cause infection?
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Javascript Malware: How does it work, and how can it be mitigated?

I am wondering how malware gets served through Javascript. I've noticed a few illegitimate pop-ups while visiting some financial websites. I wonder how malware exploits work against the application ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

What does this malicious PHP script do? [closed]

Somebody hacked my site and uploaded this script (template46.php) to my webroot and its content is: <?php $vIIJ30Y = Array('1'=>'F', '0'=>'j', '3'=>'s', '2'=>'l', '5'=>'M', ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Detecting malware-infected USB drives

I'm about to distribute some relatively cheap promotional usb drives to some of my company's clients. I'm fairly confident the company I purchased them from wouldn't intentionally implant malware on ...
98
votes
11answers
13k views

Is there any way to safely examine the contents of a USB memory stick?

Suppose I found a USB memory stick lying around, and wanted to examine its contents in an attempt to locate its rightful owner. Considering that USB sticks might actually be something altogether more ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

Reverse engineering malware/viruses

Assuming a machine has malware, regardless of how it got there, one thing I would like to learn to do is to take the binary file and reverse engineer it to see what the malware is doing/has already ...
30
votes
6answers
10k views

How can normal files hide a virus?

How can normal files supported in the Windows operating system hide a virus? Sometimes opening a .txt , .jpg or .docx files leads to running a virus. How is this possible?
30
votes
6answers
4k views

How safe are employee laptops in China against International corporate espionage?

I recently took a business trip to China. Our IT department told me I could not take my normal machine, and instead gave me a loaner. This loaner had MS Outlook and was linked to my normal company ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

From a technical standpoint, how does the zero-day Internet Explorer vulnerability discovered in September 2012 work?

I'm looking for an answer that explains the issue from the prespective of a developer/engineer. What is exactly being exploited and why does it work? Please note that I am not looking for ...
15
votes
7answers
5k views

How is it possible to embed executable code in an image

I was reading up on FireEye and came across this NYTimes article detailing a Skype chat where an image was sent that was laden with malware: Quote: To gain access to information on the ...
15
votes
3answers
61k views

Is it possible to make a phone call appear to come from another phone, even to the network provider?

Quick Question Is it possible that I could call a mobile number, but have the call forwarded through another number active on a different phone that someone else has? I have had unlimited access to ...
35
votes
5answers
5k views

Are there actions taken against websites that deliver malware?

There are serious tools and services such as Google Safe Browsing for malicious and phishing websites, and others fully dedicated to phishing websites such as Phishing.org. What is done against these ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

URL Shortening - How to verify if it is a non-malicious URL?

Again, I must mention that I have just started to learn about security. So, please bear with my newbie questions. If I receive a shortened URL from somewhere, say in an my-email or in a social media ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How would you analyze an image to find out if there are scripts embedded in it?

How would you analyze an image to find out if there are scripts or possible malware embedded in it? What tools / methods to use?
9
votes
7answers
6k views

How to safely view a malicious PDF?

I have a PDF with important information that may contain malware. What would be the best way to view it?
1
vote
6answers
11k views

Use PHP to check uploaded image file for malware?

I want my users to be able to upload a photo. Currently I am not checking the uploaded photo for problems of any kind, although I do limit the size to 32k. Is there any way for me to check uploaded ...
11
votes
1answer
701 views

Kaspersky Antivirus “secure connection scan” as broken as Superfish?

I've read a lot about Superfish (and similar ad-ware) lately and I basically understand the vulnerability to MITM attacks. But I'm actually wondering if the "secure connection scan" by Kaspersky ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Malware known to use port knocking to evade detection by network scanners?

Are there any known cases of malware in the wild that utilize port knocking on a backdoor to evade detection by network scanners?
9
votes
3answers
440 views

How can a font be used for privilege escalation?

Recently Kaspersky released an analysis of Duqu 2.0 and apparently the malware used a True Type Font File to exploit a critical vulnerability (CVE-2011-3402) to "jump directly into Kernel". I haven't ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Am I protected from USB autorun malware on Windows 7?

As far as I know, the autorun.inf problem (the possibility of automatically executing code when a USB stick is plugged in) was solved through Windows Updates for XP, and on 7 it is no longer possible ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

How does malware hooks ASEPs?

What are the operations made by malware to hook the auto start extensibility points in order to be able to run at the startup of the computer that runs Windows operation system ?
5
votes
4answers
375 views

Besides MBR & BIOS, is it possible for a rootkit to stay persistant after a format of the harddrive?

If a system becomes infected and does not have any other storage units besides the one hard drive. Is it there any other way for a rootkit to stay on the system besides infecting the BIOS OR the MBR ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Hiding process from Task Manager [closed]

What technique is used to hide a process from Task Manager? I'm currently researching ways I can do this in C++. Is this process called hooking? ...