Risk

2/16/2012
01:36 PM
50%
50%

CIA Hunts For Malware In Binary Code

Agency invests in ReversingLabs, whose TitaniumCore software analyzes code at its most basic level to identify anomalies that might be malware.

Slideshow: Who's Who In U.S. Intelligence
Slideshow: Who's Who In U.S. Intelligence
(click for larger image and for full slideshow)
The CIA is investing in security technology that analyzes application code at the binary level to help identify anomalies that might indicate the presence of malware.

In-Q-Tel (IQT), a CIA-based nonprofit that identifies emerging technologies to support the U.S. intelligence community, has struck a strategic partnership with ReversingLabs, which offers technology for the rapid analysis of unknown binary content, according to IQT.

Specifically, ReversingLabs' TitaniumCore platform decomposes code and attempts to analyze every file in a system, kicking out anything that it doesn't recognize as being legitimate code so those bits can then be analyzed for malware.

Although binary analysis tools like the company offers are widely used to find any strange code coming into the enterprise, most look for malware by identifying code that's recognized to be bad. TitaniumCore's analysis of all of the code in an enterprise sets it apart from these tools.

[ Hackers have embarrassed the CIA. See LulzSec Claims Credit For CIA Site Takedown. ]

The data resulting from the analysis can be mapped against ReversingLabs' database of artifacts on more than 100 TB of goodware and 30 terabytes of malware files, according to IQT. This allows security pros to analyze unknown threats even with a large volume of code samples.

IQT will develop ReversingLabs' technology for the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, which is one of IQT's customer agencies.

In return, the company's technology--which has broad appeal for enterprise customers outside of the intelligence community as well--will get more visibility with its potential market, said Mario Vuksan, company CEO, in a press statement.

"Our partnership with IQT will create new opportunities for leveraging ReversingLabs' versatile and multifunctional binary analysis and scalable cloud-based technologies into related applications," he said.

The CIA launched In-Q-Tel in 1999 as an independent entity to find useful new technologies to support the intelligence community's mission.

Security technologies have been a particular area of investment over the past year, with In-Q-Tel striking deals with companies that offer continuous monitoring of security infrastructure; secure virtualization technology; and technology that protects PCs from visual eavesdroppers.

How 10 federal agencies are tapping the power of cloud computing--without compromising security. Also in the new, all-digital InformationWeek Government supplement: To judge the success of the OMB's IT reform efforts, we need concrete numbers on cost savings and returns. Download our Cloud In Action issue of InformationWeek Government now. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Companies Blindly Believe They've Locked Down Users' Mobile Use
Dawn Kawamoto, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  11/14/2017
Microsoft Word Vuln Went Unnoticed for 17 Years: Report
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  11/14/2017
121 Pieces of Malware Flagged on NSA Employee's Home Computer
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  11/16/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Managing Cyber-Risk
An online breach could have a huge impact on your organization. Here are some strategies for measuring and managing that risk.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.