Mixed-Mode Malware and Its Analysis

Abstract

Mixed-mode malware contains user-mode and kernel-mode components that are interdependent. Such malware exhibits its main malicious payload only after it succeeds at corrupting the OS kernel. Such malware may further actively attack or subvert malware analysis components. Current malware analysis techniques are not effective against mixed-mode malware. To overcome the limitations of current techniques, we present an approach that combines whole-system analysis with outside-the-guest virtual machine introspection. We implement this approach in the SEMU tool for Windows. In our experiments SEMU could successfully analyze several mixed-mode malware samples that evade current analysis approaches. The runtime overhead of SEMU is in line with the most closely related dynamic analysis tools TEMU and Ether.

DOI: 10.1145/2689702.2689703

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Aboughadareh2014MixedModeMA, title={Mixed-Mode Malware and Its Analysis}, author={Shabnam Aboughadareh and Christoph Csallner and Mehdi Azarmi}, booktitle={PPREW@ACSAC}, year={2014} }