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A Unique Approach to Threat Analysis Mapping: A Malware-Centric Methodology

Technical Report
As they constantly change network infrastructure, adversaries consistently use and update their tools. This report presents a way for researchers to begin threat analysis with those tools rather than with network or incident data alone.
Publisher

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number
CMU/SEI-2016-TR-004

Abstract

Malware family analysis is a constant process of identifying exemplars of malicious software, recognizing changes in the code, and producing groups of “families” used by incident responders, network operators, and cyber threat analysts. With adversaries constantly changing network infrastructure, it is easy to lose sight of the tools consistently being used and updated by these various actors. Beginning with malware family analysis, this methodology seeks to map vulnerabilities, exploits, additional malware, network infrastructure, and adversaries’ using Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and public data feeds for the network defense and intelligence communities. The results provide an expanded picture of adversaries’ profiles rather than an incomplete story. The goal of this document is to shift the mindset of many researchers to begin with the tools used by adversaries rather than with network or incident data alone for an outside-in” approach to threat analysis instead of an “inside-out” method. We chose three malware families to use as case studies—Smallcase, Derusbi, and Sakula. The results of each case study—any additional network indicators, malware, exploits, vulnerabilities, and overall understanding of an intrusion—tied to the malware families should be utilized by network defenders and intelligence circles to aid in decision making and analysis.

Cite This Technical Report

Shick, D., & O'Meara, K. (2016, April 19). A Unique Approach to Threat Analysis Mapping: A Malware-Centric Methodology . (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2016-TR-004). Retrieved May 20, 2024, from https://insights.sei.cmu.edu/library/a-unique-approach-to-threat-analysis-mapping-a-malware-centric-methodology/.

@techreport{shick_2016,
author={Shick, Deana and O'Meara, Kyle},
title={A Unique Approach to Threat Analysis Mapping: A Malware-Centric Methodology },
month={Apr},
year={2016},
number={CMU/SEI-2016-TR-004},
howpublished={Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library},
url={https://insights.sei.cmu.edu/library/a-unique-approach-to-threat-analysis-mapping-a-malware-centric-methodology/},
note={Accessed: 2024-May-20}
}

Shick, Deana, and Kyle O'Meara. "A Unique Approach to Threat Analysis Mapping: A Malware-Centric Methodology ." (CMU/SEI-2016-TR-004). Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library. Software Engineering Institute, April 19, 2016. https://insights.sei.cmu.edu/library/a-unique-approach-to-threat-analysis-mapping-a-malware-centric-methodology/.

D. Shick, and K. O'Meara, "A Unique Approach to Threat Analysis Mapping: A Malware-Centric Methodology ," Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library. Software Engineering Institute, Technical Report CMU/SEI-2016-TR-004, 19-Apr-2016 [Online]. Available: https://insights.sei.cmu.edu/library/a-unique-approach-to-threat-analysis-mapping-a-malware-centric-methodology/. [Accessed: 20-May-2024].

Shick, Deana, and Kyle O'Meara. "A Unique Approach to Threat Analysis Mapping: A Malware-Centric Methodology ." (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2016-TR-004). Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library, Software Engineering Institute, 19 Apr. 2016. https://insights.sei.cmu.edu/library/a-unique-approach-to-threat-analysis-mapping-a-malware-centric-methodology/. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Shick, Deana; & O'Meara, Kyle. A Unique Approach to Threat Analysis Mapping: A Malware-Centric Methodology . CMU/SEI-2016-TR-004. Software Engineering Institute. 2016. https://insights.sei.cmu.edu/library/a-unique-approach-to-threat-analysis-mapping-a-malware-centric-methodology/