Uncloaking the Dark Arts of Evasive Malware

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With so many security breaches in the headlines ­­from Home Depot to JP Morgan to Dairy Queen, ­­it would appear that cyber­criminals are winning the arms race against security professionals. Multinational retailers and banks are generally on the cutting edge of security technology adoption in the private sector, deploying a wide range of the latest network, application, physical and policy­based security defenses across their organizations.

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One of several answers is that malware is evolving and adapting to evade detection by traditional defenses. Signature-­based antivirus (AV) and web gateway technologies can’t keep up with the rapid evolution of evasive malware. As my Lastline Labs colleague and fellow Lastline co­founder and UCSB Professor, Dr. Giovanni Vigna, wrote about in May, nearly half of malware gets past signature­-based AV technologies on Day 0, and some malware gets past some AV scanners for a full year.