Malware Analyst's Cookbook and DVD: Tools and Techniques for Fighting Malicious Code Paperback – Nov 2 2010
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From the Back Cover
Powerful, step-by-step solutions to dozens of common threats
We called this a cookbook because each "recipe" presents both the ingredients and the steps you take to resolve a specific problem or research a given threat. On the DVD, you'll find supporting files and original programs that provide additional resources. You'll learn how to analyze malware using tools written by the authors as well as hundreds of other publicly available tools. If your job involves incident response, computer forensics, systems security, or antivirus research, this book will become invaluable to you.
Learn to conduct online investigations without revealing your identity
Use honeypots to collect malware being distributed by bots and worms
Build a low-budget malware lab with virtualization or bare bones hardware
Reverse engineer common encoding and encryption algorithms
Set up an advanced memory forensics platform for malware analysis
Investigate prevalent threats such as Zeus, Silent Banker, CoreFlood, Conficker, Virut, Clampi, Bankpatch, BlackEnergy, and many more!
On the DVD
Use the files on the DVD to follow along with the recipes or to conduct your own investigations and analyses. You will find:
Windows and Linux tools
Over 50 original programs in Python, C/C++, and Perl
"The most useful technical security book I've read this year. A must-have for all who protect systems from malicious software."
—Lenny Zeltser, Security Practice Director at Savvis and Senior Faculty Member at SANS Institute
"The ultimate guide for anyone interested in malware analysis."
—Ryan Olson, Director, VeriSign iDefense Rapid Response Team
"Every page is filled with practical malware knowledge, innovative ideas, and useful tools. Worth its weight in gold!"
—AAron Walters, Lead Developer of Volatility and VP of Security R&D at Terremark
About the Author
Michael Hale Ligh is a malicious code analyst at Verisign iDefense and Chief of Special Projects at MNIN Security.
Steven Adair is a member of the Shadowserver Foundation and frequently analyzes malware and tracks botnets. He also investigates cyber attacks of all kinds with an emphasis on those linked to cyber espionage.
Blake Hartstein is the author of multiple security tools and a Rapid Response Engineer at Verisign iDefense, where he responds to malware incidents.
Matthew Richard has authored numerous security tools and also ran a managed security service for banks and credit unions.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is stuffed with examples, labs, samples, and more. The DVD is an excellent resource.
In order to keep this review short and to the point, I'd like to sum it up in a few words: Beginners should try this book later. The book is well written, easy to follow, and provides a lot of support should you get lost. However, for those looking for more in terms of the actual setting up of the lab, why the usage of Tor, guidelines to follow, and knowing what to look for, might want to utilize other resources first, get a lab going, and then come back to this book. Also, be prepared to look at a lot of code! This book provides many samples of code and you'll want to have some familiarity with both python and Linux before diving in. Excellent book and highly recommended!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
1. The material is up-to-date. Tools and malware resources change on an almost daily basis and you need to get books that reflect current resources and best practices. This book does a very good job covering the current tools and resources. It provides the web addresses for the various tools and resources discussed in each chapter. It also refers to current research, articles, and conference material in the areas covered in the chapters.
2. The topics covered are comprehensive. The book includes topics on anonymizing (the first chapter), classifying malware, shellcode, DLL code injection, debugging, how to safely run malware in a virtual environment, dumping memory and memory forensics, debugging kernel code, etc. The topics are collected into 18 chapters and are very complete.
3. The focus of this book is performing analysis of malware (which includes a wide variety of exploit types) and creating/using the tools to perform this analysis. Numerous examples are given showing how the analysis can be done, and some background information is presented as needed.
4. The book assumes the reader has brains. Too many "Computer Forensics" books are a waste of time for someone that already has a background in programming, networking, etc. They (the other Forensics books) often start their discussion of Network Forensics with a definition of what a network is ("A network sends packets between computers..."). Give me a break. This book assumes the reader already has a level of knowledge that is appropriate to anyone really working in this field. However, the authors do a good job explaining what needs to be explained in the course of presenting the topics. They don't talk down to the reader.
5. The book has a wealth of examples. Each chapter presents the topics by showing examples as well as showing how to get and install the necessary tools.
6. The book balances using pre-written tools with create-your-own tools. The latter include scripts in Python and programs in C/C++. The authors indicate where to get various relevant libraries which can be used to create or customize tools. This book is not just a collection of tools, but shows how to use the tools, analysis techniques, etc.
7. The book is very reasonably priced for the quality of content and the extra DVD. The price from Amazon is under $40 and the retail price is about $60. However, even at $60 this book is a bargain. Even if you just used the web addresses for the lists of tools presented in each chapter, the amount of time would take to locate and document the huge number of forensics/hacking tools presented in this book, is worth more than the book's price.
8. The book presents a huge amount of material. Almost every page is crammed with information and examples. Frankly, this book presents more information in one chapter than most other books do in their entirety, and this book has 18 chapters. The chapters are written so they are independent of each other and you can select the chapter you want to work through without reading previous chapters.
9. The tool focus is open-source and platform independent. The authors stay with open-source tools and try to reference tools that can run on both Linux and Windows. However, they also use the best tools available for a specific task, even if the tool only runs under Linux or only under Windows.
There are enough varied topics in this book that readers with different levels of knowledge can benefit. The authors assume the reader has a background in basic networking, understands operating systems (both Windows and Unix), understands programming (Python, C/C++, Assembly), and understand processor basics (registers, the stack, etc). However, these assumptions are not barriers to getting something out of this book. Beginners will find the book too difficult, but would profit by just downloading the various tools referenced in the chapters.
* If you are doing forensic analysis on Malware you should purchase this book (for the chapters on debugging, memory forensics, and malware forensics)
* If you are working in the network/computer security area you should purchase this book (for the chapters on setting up a malware lab, classifying malware, and setting up a malware sandbox)
* If you are interested in the programming aspects of malware you should purchase this book (for the chapters on DLLs and debugging malware code and on code injection)
* If (and I hesitate to include this) you want to be a hacker you should purchase this book and read the entire thing.
One suggestion for those looking to purchase this book, it would help you to gain a mild understanding of python as many of the very great tools contained within the book rely on python. It is by no means necessary to understand python to use the tools but it would be helpful to better understand what the tools are doing.
I found the 4 chapters on memory analysis to be completely awesome! I have not seen such a wealth of information on memory analysis in once place. The chapters on memory analysis go from the basic analysis of memory dump to exploring code injection and rootkits to pulling registry and network artifacts from memory.
The book does a great job of introducing the reader to multiple ways in dealing with malware from using tools for classification, scanning with AV engines and sandboxes to working with DLLs and malware debugging. I really liked how when a tool is introduced then authors then usually have a script to automate much of the process. The DVD that comes with the book is worth the price of the book just by itself.
If you work with malware in any capacity I think this book with benefit you as it has so much to offer in so many areas when it comes to fighting malicious code.
It is a technical book so be warned that its benefits will be reaped only by dilignet study and working through the recipes.
Highly recommended for people enganged in or interested in malware analysis or even the more general topics of how malware operates. The script for automating analysis of suspect malware by multiple antivirus scanners from the command line (Chapter 4) are worth the price of the book alone.
The book is suitable for all levels of anyone interested in security and malware analysis. The recipe style of the book makes it easy to quickly jump to a section you are interested in or need at that moment or it can be used to skip sections you're not interested in without losing anything.
The provided DVD is actually useful. It provides a number of custom written Python scripts that the authors took consider time to write. You can easily add these to your malware analysis toolkit for easier malware analysis and increased productivity.
Their techniques have helped me by solving problems I was having directly with analysis tools, as well as indirectly with other methods I have put in place. This book is a very easy read and the open source tools are very beneficial.