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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69
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7answers
40k 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 ...
67
votes
10answers
6k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
12k 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? ...
24
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
18k 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 >> ...
14
votes
6answers
4k 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?
12
votes
4answers
564 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
42
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
1k 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
2k 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?
17
votes
3answers
789 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
958 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
848 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
4k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
11k views

Advice on what to do after being hacked?

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. ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Malwares source repositories. Where?

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?
19
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
35k 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
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
28k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k 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?
18
votes
4answers
582 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is bit.ly a malware distributor?

I clicked this link http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/ Chrome gave me this warning - Attackers currently on bit.ly might attempt to install dangerous programs on your computer that ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I know if my PC is getting infected?

I have installed an antivirus, but as no antivirus is perfect, what can I do to diagnose if my PC is getting infected? For example, keeping a close eye on what programs and tasks run when I turn my ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

what is the difference between dll hijacking and dll injection

I am confused. I would like to know if dll hijacking and dll injection are the same or are they different. I know that some malware use it to do malicious things. thank you in advance
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Can Malware Physically Damage A Hard Drive?

I recently responded to an incident of supposed malware infection. The symptoms where simply "my computer is freezes at random times". The response ended with replacement of the physical hard drive ...
21
votes
6answers
1k views

Why are vulnerabilities and lack of security possible in computers?

I have heard about computer vulnerabilities, virus, malware, etc. Why are these threats possible? Why doesn't the computer just do the things it is supposed to? Why do some people write malware, ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Recommendations for honeypot software

A couple of us wanted to setup a honeypot/honeynet with the goal of learning; not planned to be in a production environment. What's a good recommendation for a high interaction or low interaction ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Detecting reflective DLL injection

In the past few years, malware (and some pen-test tools like Metasploit's meterpreter payload) have begun to use reflective DLL injection (PDF) to load a DLL into the memory of a process. The benefit ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

Why do malware creators use such clever technologies for such silly purposes?

Some days ago I got infected by a malware, probably something new and very clever, as it went in unstopped and no scanning tool was able to detect it afterwards (see this question). It was a ...
17
votes
7answers
804 views

How to deal with a person who gets easily fooled by internet and mail scams?

alternative title: How to deal with a person who has gotten paranoid and doesn't want to go online anymore? A person, who has over the years been scammed many times, by bad spam/fraud emails, and ...
6
votes
2answers
238 views

Example of malware in the wild?

I'd like to test an application that detects malware on my network. In order to do that, I have a Windows VM set up that I'd like to infect with malware. But for the life of me, I can't seem to find ...
21
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to check if URL/ IP belongs to a zeus bot

I have a set of URL's which might be Zeus hosts / C&C servers since my security appliance says so. Is there a way to check if these really belong to Zeus?
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Can a .sh file be malware?

Can a .sh file be a virus or something harmful? Is it like .exe files on Windows? If yes can someone read this script and tell me if it safe and is it effect any how on gpg security. It gives me an ...
10
votes
3answers
757 views

How to deobfuscate this PHP malware?

Two days ago a file called "images.php" appeared on a friend's server, which he noticed because it caused errors. The file contained the following. This code is of unknown origin and presumed to be ...
9
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?
8
votes
6answers
11k views

How can I prevent viruses/malware from infecting my flash drive?

I've a pen drive that I carry to the college lab . It seems all the systems in lab is infected. I need to be able to write to the drive, so I can't simply write protect it. Everytime I insert a ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Browser hijacked - how to fix and prevent?

For the second time in a month, my work PC has been infected with malware that is hijacking my Google search results in Firefox. A search for the URL hijacked searches end up at turns up nothing on ...
4
votes
1answer
104 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 ?
4
votes
1answer
1k 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? ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Using linux to combat windows flash drive malware?

I just put an old flash drive which i used with a windows machine into my linux. I noticed many files, mostly exes which were never visible in windows (my windows does not hide hidden files and ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

attack/abuse notification email template

I'm building a template for use when sending "abuse" notifications to ISPs, hosting providers, etc., for when attacks originate from their netblock. Are there examples of templates used for this ...