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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53
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8answers
26k 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 ...
64
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
8k 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? ...
19
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
981 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 ...
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 ...
39
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
6answers
1k 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?
8
votes
4answers
413 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
12k 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 >> ...
12
votes
5answers
773 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
721 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?
15
votes
4answers
2k 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?
18
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
25k 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
1k 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
3answers
633 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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
16
votes
6answers
577 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
973 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
533 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
887 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
-2
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
915 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?
6
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
563 views

What methodologies are useful when reverse-engineering malware / shellcode?

Whilst I'm familiar with reverse engineering techniques from a technical standpoint, I've never found a good methodology for approaching and dissecting malware / shellcode. I've found hundreds of ...
6
votes
4answers
399 views

What abuses can an infected webpage do to me if I'm using Chrome and Flash is disabled

as a follow-up to this question Can you get virus just by visiting a website in chrome., I've read these pages: http://www.straightsectalk.com/?p=47 ...
6
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Need advice on linux server being hacked

I'm currently trying to find out how one of our centos servers was compromised. We were experiencing malware on our sites. After searching I finally found the malware injecting into the sites. As it ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Is online banking more secure on iOS than a desktop computer?

Does Apple's iOS provide a more secure environment for online commerce (banking or shopping) than Windows or Mac OS X? Since the only software that can run on iOS must be vetted by Apple, the ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

How can I assess the trust worthiness of a browser add-on?

Having learned a bit more about what add-ons/extensions can do in Firefox, I want to minimize my risk and use some safer mechanism to download videos (FLV in particular) for later viewing. ...
1
vote
2answers
323 views

Is a C plugin safe if I read it through an echoing parser before?

I wanted to use sharable plugins for an application. However, the plugins were extremely time critical, so I wanted to distribute them as C libraries. Now, these are not guaranteed to be safe (the ...
0
votes
1answer
254 views

What is the purpose of this malware code?

This is the code that I found on my client's website: ?><noindex><nofollow> <iframe src="htxp://atluscomdnsup23.ikwb.cxm/main.php?page=1f1214ff37a3022d" height="0" width="0" ...
9
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
7k 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
629 views

Phishing virus found on server

I recently had a call from BELL concerning a virus on our Linux ( Debian ) Server. Apparently Google emailed our client about an Italian Database found on our server that was doing phishing. They ...
3
votes
1answer
503 views

What is known about the sirefef/zeroaccess malware/botnet?

There appears to be an increase in p2p communication among botnets that has been attributed to the sirefef/zeroaccess malware botnet. What is known on this particular threat?
3
votes
2answers
587 views

How does DNS Changer malware detection work?

This malware directs your computer to use DNS servers under control of the badguys. These DNS servers were taken over by the FBI. They were replaced with clean ones, to prevent service disruption, but ...
2
votes
3answers
337 views

How to keep Mac secure from viruses, malware and keyloggers?

How can I download and install software and make sure that it is not infected with viruses, malware or a keylogger? Also, I heard that Macs "don't get viruses". Is this true? Is it a good practice to ...
2
votes
3answers
416 views

does switching to linux remove existing computer virus

if you change from a malware/spyware infected windows setup to a linux setup will infections migrate to linux if they were on the computer? (when you are hacked/infected is it the op system that is ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
12k views

Multiple running instances of rundll32.exe

I've noticed that in the Task Manager of Windows 7, I have multiple running instances (2) of rundll32.exe. Does this necessarily means that my machine is infected by a malware as noted here: ...