[funsec] Get your computer viruses here!

val smith mvalsmith at gmail.com
Wed Dec 28 15:03:40 CST 2005


That could be.

Maybe nothing good has ever come out of malware except for some good
researchers / analysts. Definitly requires more  research on my part.

The idea of software protections came of of copyright needs sure, however
one could argue that advances in that field do sometimes come from malcode
authors. I guess I'm not sure of the intentions of the authors of such
things as morphine, burneye, etc.

And to Randy re biological viruses, no I was making the argument that
sometimes good things can come out of something considered to ONLY be bad.
Also you'll noticed i put "new" in quotes. I know its not really a new idea
although maybe someone could enlighten me as to a previous project that
tried to profice a shared analsys experience that wasn't limited to "vetted"
researchers. I guess I don't feel like I can make the decision as to who is
vetted and who isnt. If I did then perhaps I would be "playing God" in my
kingdom as a previous poster suggested.

V.

On 12/28/05, Jason Geffner <jasongef at microsoft.com> wrote:
>
>  > We wouldnt have techniques like binary diffing or call graph comparison
> / analysis if it wasnt for malware.
>
>
>
> As far as I know, those techniques were developed mainly for patch
> analysis and vulnerability research, not for malware analysis.
>
>
>
> > Also the idea of software protections (packing and encoding) that come
> out of malware are useful for copyright protection and other "binary
> security" needs.
>
>
>
> Again, AFAIK, most *modern* packing and encoding techniques stemmed from
> copyright protection and were then applied to malware, not the other way
> around.
>
>
>
> As usual, the thoughts and views expressed in this E-mail are mine, not
> Microsoft's, etc.
>
>
>
> - Jason
>
>
>  ------------------------------
>
> *From:* funsec-bounces at linuxbox.org [mailto:funsec-bounces at linuxbox.org] *On
> Behalf Of *val smith
> *Sent:* Wednesday, December 28, 2005 12:24 PM
> *To:* Blue Boar
> *Cc:* funsec at linuxbox.org
> *Subject:* Re: [funsec] Get your computer viruses here!
>
>
>
> So my slight disagreement there is that its beneficial in the sense that
> security people can learn from it. We wouldnt have techniques like binary
> diffing or call graph comparison / analysis if it wasnt for malware. And
> those methods are useful for much more than malware.
>
> Also the idea of software protections (packing and encoding) that come
> out of malware are useful for copyright protection and other "binary
> security" needs.
>
> Again this is a rather subjective subject (ahah). You could make the
> analogy that a biological virus has no good uses however we have begun using
> them for genetic therapies and they have greatly helped us to understand how
> many other biologic processes work.
>
> This whole idea of publically available malware however is a "new" thing
> and I guess it defies analogy.
>
> I do see the difference between malware and a tool (i hope) but the
> langauge necessary to talk about this subject is hard and any comparison or
> anallogy that can be drawn will be flawed.
>
> Thanks for the perspective though, I will think about it some more.
>
> V.
>
> On 12/28/05, *Blue Boar* <BlueBoar at thievco.com> wrote:
>
> val smith wrote:
> > I guess what you haven't convinced me of yet is how "malware" is any
> > different from any other object in existance which can be used for both
> > good or evil. I could stand on the corner selling rocks which people
> > could use to study or to bash someone over the head with. How is that
> > much different?
>
> Again, not that I disapprove of your project in general, but I'm a
> little disappointed that you don't see the differences between "malware"
> and "tool".
>
> -Malware has no good applications.  The definition is that it is
> something you don't want running on your machine.  There are no good
> uses for it.  Good guys need to analyze it, so once it exists they need
> for it to be available to them, but they don't use it for its intended
> purpose.
>
> -Malware isn't like a vulnerability, technique or exploit.  Those
> already existed, and were just waiting to be discovered.  Malware isn't
> a problem and doesn't exist until someone creates it.  It's pure new
> problem.
>
> There's no beneficial use for malware, just a need to study it.
>
>                                                 BB
>
>
>
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