OK, so your saying the guy that is now in charge of protecting us from cyberbadness is saying <QUOTE> ” .”  </QUOTE>

It’s usually poor taste to cuss in what should be a professional forum but….

ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME?!

Someone brief this guy up or get him off the stage..

If I could put the digital threats our country faces into a single simple pictorial message it would be this.  Here is the threat we face….

and here is you, the cyber defender.  NOTE/HINT: You’re somewhere in the middle there.

We are getting our LUNCH eaten.  If Google going full disclosure didnt wake anyone up then they really don’t realize what they are dealin with. 

They get in, they entrench and you dont get them out.    However I have the solution:

  • CIO’s are utterly ineffectual in impacting the security of our Government systems and data.  No Power to FIRE, Slash budgets or hold people accountable for abysmal security postures.  – No accountability. – Emphasize RESULTS
  • Put somone in charge, empower them and get the hell out of the way.
  • Communicate to hostile actors there is a cost to their actions, ensure they pay it.
  • - Reference Siberian Pipeline Explosion.
  • Launch unattributable Rear Guard attacks. (Wage counter asymmetric warefare) Tie their resources up with resource draining attacks in their rear echelons.
  • Implement a friends and family cyber-beatdown plan.  -in response to vociferous Foreign Minister denials.  I don’t care if you say you didnt do it, Im still holding your ass responsible.

I have an idea.  We should just bill them licensing fees for all the crap they have stolen.  Anyone got the number for the WTO?  I would call them on my nifty VOIP line but some guy answered in Mandarin.

This thread might be controversial but I must assume that things will progress that way anyways.  This has to do with advanced evolution of digital threats.  A very very large majority of malware is very noisy on the wire.  The fact that bots especially conduct callbacks to their Command and Control systems in the first place on a regular basis, HELLO, IM HERE, HELLO, IM HERE, YO! IM HERE is on its face completely rediculous.  If organizations can’t get their collective asses in gear to remediate their networks when malware is screaming out every minute to malicious IPs then someone needs a good career spanking. 

Awesome products like and which focus their attention on the real problems of botnets instead of larger AV Companies that just sit back and soak up your IT budget are going to be the change changers here and eventually drive botnet evolution in a new direction, Ironically rendering their products useless.  Thats the main problem with solving problems comprehensively – it kills your business plan. 

Heres a thought.  Instead of spending a billion dollars and 3 years to rev out the next version of , shim into the security stack FIREEYE/DAMBALLA with custom sigs.  For those that don’t know or havent been reading the press Einstein is DHS’s hope/vision for a big old digital condom from all that nasti hackiness thats been eroding our countries competitive edge for o say like 10 years.  Better hurry up guys, we probably on have about 5 years of Research and Development left to lose before we are facing adversaries that are technologically advanced as us.  And o ya 4 times the population.  There wont be much need for us in the future.

Thus leads to the controverisal piece.    MALWARE EVOLUTION #1  HUNTER/KILLER

Evolution of autonomous malware with preprogrammed directives.  Malware is just code, code is the digital representation of logical directives.  Directives are a language construct of what fleshbots want or need.  Namely us.  It has suprised me for some time that much of the malware requires a series of manual control command sets to do its job.  Cant you just go tell a piece of malware “look man, do this, this this, and uh if you see this piece of information or event do this”  These type of autonomus functional intelligence is what I would have expected from some of the prevalent threats today.   One of the theories behind the lack of sophistication in malware is the Lowest SHIT that works theory.  Namely if it works, why expend resources to advance the art.  While they may be right it certain keeps things boring on the technical malware analysis side.  Implementing a level or sentient intelligence based on certain low level information primitives would not be too hard of a research and development project.  The goal being to implement a handful of the tools of cyberwar, but have them automonously conducted with the goals of taking the operator out of the loop, and meeting certain operational criteria.  This way no Beacon beaconing like a goddam rooster and actually forcing the industry to start looking at the root of the problem which is the host and its built in internals and functions which enable all this crap in the first place. 

I will probably expand on this concept further later but from a defense side it seems that having your shit beacon, and requiring an operator to do basic shit all the time is just plain stupid.  Fire and forget malware bombs that can steal shit, and then encrypt it and blast it once with a special signature as a digital blob onto a Peer to Peer network  or to 500 places at once on the Internet for pickup would make things alot more interesting.

Well thats it, Cats out of the bag. Lets see what happens. 

-disclaimer  This blog was designed to explore futuristic concepts and memes of cyberwar and all their implications.  This is a conceptual thought exercise only, Not an endorsement.

One of the things sorely lacking in the industry is a reliable standardized index for the weaponization rating of malware.  Security vendors are typically overwhelmed/AndOr to Lazy to do this in a capitalistic bubble they call their business plan.  Malware analysts such as myself have seen this obvious need for a while now.  This Rating system applies to Pardon the hype buzz wordz but APT, targeted attacks, advanced obfuscation and protection tools, and cybercrime banking malware alike.  In the end they all ‘mostly’ implement into their design some type of hopefully advanced mechanisms to either circumvent host hardening, exploit prevention mechanisms, network detection and host detection.  They also implement highly advanced anti-analysis and obfuscation – armoring techniques.  This list goes on and on.  However  there is no standard for this and not much debate so I am proposing the following. 

WEAPONIZATION INDEX Scoring System for Malware

A Malware Weaponization Index is calculated to indicate the level of sophistication and advanced techniques leveraged to avoid detection, achieve persistence, maintain survivalbility, and prevent remediation along with an assessment on the precisness of organizational and informational targeting, and the sophistication of its propogation and exploitation vectors such as code exploiting 0-day vulnerabilities. This will help in supporting Triage Operations for analysis such as dealing with APT, highly customized code, or advanced botnets.

Each of these categories is given a weighted rating culminating in an overall score.  As techniques become more mainstream and commonplace, or out of date they drop off the scale and new techniques are added. 

  • Percentage of custom developed code versus code reuse
  • Number of exploitable vulnerabilities in the malcode
  • Number of software development flaws
  • Percentage optimized to inefficient code
  • Use of advanced rootkit techniques, Direct Kernel Object Modification DKOM, malicious hypervisors
  • Encryption robustness evaluation (XOR versus AES, RC5, Public/Private key)
  • Usage of code integrity checking
  • Awareness of operation in virtualized or sandbox environments
  • Implementation of attacks against custom or little used software
  • Implementation of highly advanced anti-debugging techniques
  • Custom targeting of narrowly focused data sets (automatic searching for critical keyword based content)
  • Implementation custom code packing techniques
  • Implementation of virtualized packers
  • Awareness of hypervisor monitoring
  • Malware that runs completely from memory
  • Malware that is designed to foil memory forensics
  • Malware that protects its critical data such as encryption keys in memory
  • Malware implements destructive or highly disruptive capabilities
  • Malware that armors itself against inspection and hooking techniques
  • Malware that utilizes secure deletion techniques to foil disk based forensics
  • Malware that runs in the kernel using little know native functions
  • Malware that uses unique and innovative persistence techniques
  • Malware developed in languages not commonly used
  • Level of sophistication in metamorphic and polymorphic techniques
  • Level of detection based on AV scanning
  • Any hardware based embedded attacks such as Cisco routers, wireless infrastructure
  • Any exploits against real time operating systems, or weapons platforms

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