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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

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 ...
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 ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

Malicious Links that Respond to Browsers but not curl or wget

There are some emails with links to people's cracked websites with a malware download Like this kind of email: fake DHL pack station email ... the links often take the form of: http:// ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

How is malware distributed within zip files?

Recently it seems there has been a big outbreak of zip files being emailed to people with a .js file containing code that downloads and executes cryptoware. How does the .js actually get executed ...
20
votes
8answers
7k views

PHP malware/shell keeps resurrecting [duplicate]

So I've been fighting this problem for months now and decided that it's beyond my limited (if at all) server skills, and that I need help from the pros. I have a VPS (with root access) which hosts ...
20
votes
4answers
4k 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
2answers
1k views

Could once infected machine be ever trusted again?

I'm just about to switch to a new SSD drive, so I figured it's a good occasion for a really, really fresh start. I reconsidered every installed piece of software, uninstalled lots of crap ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it possible for a file that is non-executable and read-only to run malicious code?

On a POSIX system, is there a possibility for a file which is non-executable and read-only (aka with a mode 444) to run malicious code on a machine? If so, can you explain how it would do so?
19
votes
6answers
4k views

Becoming a malware analyst?

So, I'm currently 16 and am considering a career in IT when I finish school. The thing that has intrigued me the most while growing up is malware. I've come across it so often and have often had to ...
19
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
728 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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
14k views

Can home routers get infected?

I am behind a router(linksys that runs dd wrt on it) and I was infected with sality. I'm curious, can my router get infected too? If yes, how can I remove the infection? I used the search bar but ...
18
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?
18
votes
4answers
37k views

Can a PDF file contain a virus?

Could a PDF file contain any type of malware?
18
votes
3answers
796 views

How Do Rootkits & Other Low-Level Malware Still Manage to Load on Systems Protected by Secure Boot (and TB/MB)?

Let me try asking my question this way... Let's say that I'm a offensive cyber Bad Guy working for a foreign state-sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat unit. My unit is charged with, say, stealing ...
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 ...
17
votes
2answers
872 views

Is there a real possibility of getting malware by “drive-by”?

I know malware can be gotten by downloading and running stuff, but is there a real possibility of just viewing a webpage or clicking a link and getting one? Assuming using only Firefox / Chrome and ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

The Perfect Mousetrap - Can a sandbox system be designed such that it's identical to an actual computer? [duplicate]

In testing suspicious files for malware, the typical method is to search for known malicious code. This is why zero-day malware attacks can be so dangerous — their malicious code is previously unknown ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do rootkits hide in drivers?

A lot of rootkits for Windows (maybe even Linux?) do hide in drivers. Why is that? One reason I can think of is that using a driver they run in kernel mode and have full system access, but aren't ...
17
votes
2answers
484 views

Do the most common ransomware programs delete the original files as they go, or in a big bulk delete at the very end?

I'm talking about the most common varieties like Cryptolocker, Cryptowall, Torrentlocker, KeRanger, RSA4096, etc. (There is not necessarily a need to answer for all of these, one or two may do.) If ...
16
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
7k views

Do I really need an Anti-Virus software if I'm careful about where I browse?

A friend told to me the following: I don't use Anti-Virus software at all, I am just careful about where I go and what I click on. I've also heard this from other people as I've repaired their ...
16
votes
6answers
9k 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?
16
votes
3answers
5k views

Running windows in virtual machine, should I bother with security?

I'm running Windows in a virtual machine on my mac (via Parallels). Should I bother installing antivirus, firewall and using other conventional wisdom practices (like don't open unknown .exe etc)? I ...
16
votes
3answers
67k 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 ...
16
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
2k 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 GnuPG security? It gives me an ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Router being infected by malware

If you connect a computer that is infected with malware (the government grade, kernel infecting, extremely persistent, easily spreadable kind) to a router or modem, can the router or modem or its ...
15
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 ...
15
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
945 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
849 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do exploit kits use droppers?

I've been looking into the structure of the online criminal underground, which consists of exploit kits, droppers, and malware payloads. What is the function of the dropper in this pipeline? Why ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Skype called someone and connected to them with no action on my part. What do I do?

This happened to me today, September 12, at about 6pm. Any ideas about what happened, what's going on, and what I should do? I was at home alone with my 2 year old -- I was feeding her dinner. All of ...
13
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
5answers
1k views

Checking if notebook is clean of hardware spyware

Are there any simple steps one can follow to verify if a notebook is clean from hardware spyware? What should be looked for? How should it look? If any visual tutorials with photographs are ...
13
votes
5answers
672 views

What is the risk of giving USB drives as promotional items by a healthcare provider

There have been a couple of instances where malware infected USB drives have been given away unknowingly as promotional items at conferences, e.g., IBM in 2010. Besides this, if a healthcare company ...
13
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
951 views

remote desktop connection to a potentially compromised machine

I am using rdesktop client on Linux to connect to windows machines. If some of these machines were compromised by some evil malware/virus/worm/trojan, is there any way for the malware to "jump" to my ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Oligomorphism vs polymorphism vs metamorphism in malware

What is the difference between these three? As I understand it, polymorphic malware code actually is always the same, and it's just that it appears to be different (through encryption, data ...
13
votes
2answers
656 views

Advertisement on Skype tried to download a file to my computer using Javascript

I usually have Skype running in the background. If you have ever used Skype before, you probably know it has advertisements. One of these advertisements made two windows pop up on my screen, asking to ...
13
votes
1answer
528 views

Malicious PDF Analysis

I have been analyzing a PDF I suspect to contain malicious content. For the most part, I've always trusted automated tools to determine if a PDF was safe to open. However, my eyes have been opened to ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Detection and analysis of unknown malware

Suppose I have a binary which is suspicious. How can I determine whether it is malicious, and if it is, reverse-engineer how it works and what it does? For example, maybe using static analysis? Are ...
12
votes
8answers
7k 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?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Unknown process on my ubuntu machine communicating over multiple ports with UDP proto

I have a Django web application where the web app and the postgresql database are hosted on two separate Ubuntu-based machines. On my Database machine (and not my web application), if I run sudo ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

Sites being redirected to adult site in all devices [closed]

From past couple of days, we are facing this issue where sites are automatically being routed to an adult site, although we get a 404 Not Found HTTP error. First guess is obviously that my system is ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

How can a malicious URL affect a computer?

Many security experts advise not to click on malicious URLs. How can clicking a URL affect a computer's security? If a malicious file was downloaded and executed, then a computer's security may be ...
12
votes
3answers
42k views

How serious is InstallIQ?

Background: Recently I've seen hits for InstallIQ a "potentially unwanted application" from ESET. From what I can find it seems like this is an installer wrapper that asks people to install other ...