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LynxSecure       Low-level & boot-level rootkits revisited:Real-time inline detection and protection by means of          ...
2SummaryLow-level and boot-level rootkits (nowadays commonly associated with APT) are the stealthiest andmost potent type ...
3LynxSecure: Secure Separation Kernel and HypervisorLynxSecure “Type-0” Hypervisor Technology“Type-0” is a new bare-metal ...
4LynxSecure ArchitectureLynxSecure Rootkit Detection and Protection CapabilitiesMuch has been debated in the past about us...
5Alert of rootkit infection-in-progress:Upon detection, LynxSecure immediately alerts by sending detailed message to its m...
6Features and methodology:LynxSecure has 3 core modules carrying the various tasks of rootkit detection and protection:1. ...
7The detector applies the same to any boot media: Directly assigned HDDs; virtual HDDs; other media,such as USB boot etc. ...
8Configurability:LynxSecure is highly configurable. Each of the above scanning, snapshotting and restore functions can bec...
94. The audit record is exported to the auxiliary guest OS running in the same system (VDS). The VDS   forwards the record...
10    Captured Data:    Below are snapshots of target HD sectors, taken by LynxSecure before and after TDL-4infection.    ...
11Usage of LynxSecureUsage of virtualization as a means to provide security is a novel and radical concept. Securevirtuali...
12Rootkits & Bootkits 101:Much has been said about rootkits and bootkits, but still the unknown is much bigger than the kn...
13undetectable by the OS. This gives the bootkit complete freedom of action, and also allows it reinstallitself into the O...
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Whitepaper, lynx secure rootkit detection & protection by means of secure virtualization

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Whitepaper, lynx secure rootkit detection & protection by means of secure virtualization

  1. 1. LynxSecure Low-level & boot-level rootkits revisited:Real-time inline detection and protection by means of secure virtualization -- White Paper -- Phil Yankovsky, Craig Howard, Ed Mooring, Arun Subbarao & Avishai Ziv LynuxWorks, Inc. San Jose, CA -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  2. 2. 2SummaryLow-level and boot-level rootkits (nowadays commonly associated with APT) are the stealthiest andmost potent type of malware. They are stealthy to the extent that they are also capable to escapecommon security research and discussions, and for good reason: They are very hard to detect, and whendetected, remediation of the infected targets is harder still.There’s an ongoing controversy as to the share of low-level rootkits (also known as bootkits) in theentire malwaredom. Some (Microsoft, Symantec and others) claim rootkits to be less than 5% of allmalware. Others, on the other hand (Kindsight and others) claim low-level rootkits amount to more than50% of all malware. The stealthy-by-design nature of rootkits makes it hard to even create a commonlyagreed-upon view of the level and dynamics of this cyber-threat.The commercial availability of rootkits (as software developer kits) and the professional discipline withwhich they are developed (even to the extent of version control and customer support!) lead to aworrisome and growing trend where “benign malware authors” are now adding rootkits to their lot.Of one thing there’s no doubt: Common endpoint security means are not up to the task of protectingagainst low-level rootkits. As a matter of fact, rootkits are specifically designed to evade and disablethem.Introducing LynxSecureIn this whitepaper we introduce a novel and unique approach to detect rootkits, and protect from them,all in real time, by means of secure virtualization.Utilizing LynxSecure – LynuxWorks’ award winning secure hypervisor -- as a real-time inline rootkitdetector, is a completely new approach and methodology to counter the growing threat of cyber-attacksbased on rootkit infection.We’ll highlight this approach by analyzing a TDL-4 rootkit infection. TDL-4 is the most common rootkitand one that has been described as “indestructible” by Kaspersky Labs. We’ll provide a step-by-stepdescription of the detection, interception and remediation of TDL-4 using LynxSecure.We’ll also claim that since low-level rootkits achieve their goals by assuming equal, or higher, securityposture than the operating system itself, the only viable approach to counter them would be to assumea higher security posture than the rootkits, and do it in a secure, self-protecting, non-bypassable andtamper-proof manner. This solution must execute with a higher privilege than the attacked OS; providecomplete control of the platform hardware; and monitor all activities of the OS and its applications.Namely – use virtualization as a vessel to provide security.* For more details about rootkits & bootkits see last chapter of this document. -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  3. 3. 3LynxSecure: Secure Separation Kernel and HypervisorLynxSecure “Type-0” Hypervisor Technology“Type-0” is a new bare-metal architecture, designed by LynuxWorks, that differentiates from type-1hypervisors by removing the all un-needed functionality from the “security sensitive” hypervisor mode,yet virtualizes guest operating systems in a tiny stand-alone package. By shedding the need of supportby a full operating system, the type-0 hypervisor drastically reduces the size and computationaloverhead imposed on target systems. Thus, LynxSecure is effectively a virtual mother-board running atring -1 (vs. type 1 hypervisors, which are OS-like or full-blown OS).Combining the best-of-breed capabilities of the separation kernel technology and virtualization,LynxSecure provides unmatched capabilities to run one or more guest OSes using common PC platforms.LynxSecure further differs from other hypervisors by offering the underlying security of a separationkernel to isolate each virtual instance and provide protection to every guest with its own virtualaddressing space. In addition, it guarantees resource availability, such as memory and processorexecution resources, to each guest, so that no software can consume the allocated memory orscheduled time resources of other guests.LynxSecure supports the Multiple Independent Levels of Security (“MILS”) architectural approach, withstrict enforcement of data isolation, damage limitation and information flow control policies. Unlike atraditional security kernel that performs all trusted functions for a secure operating system, theSeparation Kernel’s primary security function is to partition the resources of a system and to controlinformation flow among those resources. -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  4. 4. 4LynxSecure ArchitectureLynxSecure Rootkit Detection and Protection CapabilitiesMuch has been debated in the past about usage of virtualization as a means to counter low-levelrootkits. However, this remained theoretical due to the design and architectural deficiencies of type-1hypervisors: They were not designed as secure environments, and their sheer size (they are in effect anoperating system with an exceptionally large attack surface) and monolithic architecture prevent themfrom addressing these threats.Overview:LynxSecure is the first and only technology capable of real-time detection, alert and protection againstzero-day rootkits and bootkits. It is also capable of complete remediation of the compromised/attackedOS, done in real-time & inline, yet outside of the compromised/attacked OS. Furthermore -- thisremediation can be done remotely by IT staff.Rootkit detection:Being the most privileged monitor in the platform, LynxSecure constantly monitors and introspectsmalicious and irregular activity in HW areas. The closest entity to the platform’s hardware, LynxSecure’sfine-tuned introspection can detect the rootkit’s activity even before it installs itself – it’s detected fromthe first instance it begins to write to the MBR or other HW areas. LynxSecure’s unique architecture(effectively – a virtual motherboard running at ring -1) makes it non-bypassable & tamper-proof. It’s alsoOS agnostic, as it’s situated below any of the guest OSes. Simply put -- LynxSecure provides hardwarelevel protection by means of software. LynxSecure monitors: Key disk areas (MBR, key blocks & sectors etc.) Key physical memory areas Key CPU instructions & data structures -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  5. 5. 5Alert of rootkit infection-in-progress:Upon detection, LynxSecure immediately alerts by sending detailed message to its managementsystem’s dashboard. The alert can then automatically trigger action that is sent back to LynxSecure, all inreal-time.Protection against rootkit infection:The protective action can be either block the rootkit from even further writing to the MBR/disk, or blockits install into the MBR/disk. For malware research purposes, the option to let the rootkit complete itsinstallation also exists. It then allows the researchers to closely monitor the rootkit’s activity.Remediation of infected targets:The remediation action can restore the MBR (and other HW parts such as slack disk sectors or last disksector/block – the favorite location for rootkits to place their loader and entire file system) to itspristine/clean state, before it was infected and altered by the rootkit, thus effectively disabling therootkit. The remediation takes place inline and in real-time, and does not require the lengthy offlineprocess currently done by the rootkit-removers.Low level information/data LynxSecure captures and record:LynxSecure records and logs detailed low-level data such as: Specific guest OS which was infected; HWareas affected by the rootkit; specific nature of change the rootkit tries to make; detailed before & afterstates of the affected areas, including precise & reliable time-stamps etc..Schematic view of LynxSecure rootkit detection & protection -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  6. 6. 6Features and methodology:LynxSecure has 3 core modules carrying the various tasks of rootkit detection and protection:1. The hypervisor (hardened HW-tampering detector)2. The secure virtualization support layer (FVS)3. The auxiliary secure virtual machine (Virtual Device Server -- VDS).Based on configuration, LynxSecure can serve as a self-contained node or a networked node, whereLynxSecure is controlled by remote management system.Superior vantage point:LynxSecure has a superior vantage point: It’s the lowest entity on the machine, and resides directly onthe HW. Rootkits cant attack LynxSecure, while LynxSecure uses multiple mechanisms to detect rootkitsand stop them. Furthermore, API’s can be provided for 3rd parties to take advantage of this superiorvantage point.This vantage point allows LynxSecure unparalleled detection capabilities and the score of its protectioncapabilities.Being an inline entity, rather than static or offline as the other rootkit detection/protection technologiesare, not only is LynxSecure able to detect minute changes to the HW others cannot, but it can do it atany given time, continuously: Starting BEFORE the OS boots, during boot process, during runtime, and inshutdown phase (the phase where malware typically tries to hide itself in advance from static offlineanti-rootkit tools).LynxSecure detection mechanism:Based on pre-configured policy, LynxSecure hardened HW-tampering detector scans the HW (i.e., bootsectors, slack disk sectors, hidden partitions, bad disk sectors, memory, CPU etc.) for changes andirregularities. The scanning is accompanied with micro-snapshotting (see below) of the scanned HWparts.The initial state of each scanned part is securely stored as “Golden Image”.The policy-based scanning scans for “absence of good” and “presence of evil”: “Absence of good” (aka “zero-day”): When system part has been altered from a known-good state (such as an MBR which no longer matches a golden MBR), or when it has been accessed or modified in a manner that is not a known-good manner (i.e., nonstandard API call, call stack chain, I/O port access pattern, etc., that is used to tamper with the MBR, partition slack space, etc.), or both. “Presence of evil”: When system part (which can include access patterns) in the system matches a known-bad state or pattern.The detector’s dynamic runtime response & introspection capabilities include: Run in active or passive mode, or both Detect tampering actions to various disk sectors Detect boot and reboot attempts by OS (Windows and other OSes) Run anytime it is specifically instructed to do so by the hypervisor or by external API. In which case, Windows is completely suspended and its resources (drives, boot devices, file system, RAM, etc.) are available for capture and export to analysis by external engines/tools.The detector is capable of scanning and snapshotting other blocks, such as the last block on the drive(rootkits are known to populate the last block), or any other block on the drive. -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  7. 7. 7The detector applies the same to any boot media: Directly assigned HDDs; virtual HDDs; other media,such as USB boot etc. These capabilities of the detector are extendible to VBRs (Volume Boot Records).Monitoring storage & boot device heuristics: Where malware attempts to access devices, it can leave traces Windows and AV clients installed in Windows typically cannot detect, and definitely not in real-time. For example, where a rootkit hooks or subverts Windows block I/O layer, it can falsely report disk activity to the kernel, so the kernel does not see where extra disk activity may have occurred. This can include the use of hidden sectors on a drive. With LynxSecure, the disk activity and its related events, such as interrupts, are visible, and can be exported via API to external agents for both analysis and/or immediate remediation action. The monitoring mechanisms include monitoring of drive/controller properties, drive/partition contents and more.Micro-snapshotting:One of LynxSecure key features is its ability to take, in real-time, micro-snapshots of every relevant partof the HW (memory, disk, CPU etc.). Snapshots of Windows entire memory (or parts of it) can also betaken. This is not a one-time action, but can be configured to take snapshots at any chosen time interval(polling mechanism).The use of a virtualized disk allows detection of tampering of the MBR at the block I/O level, meaning --LynxSecure can detect the writes to the MBR as they occur(!) .Being OS-agnostic, LynxSecure does not rely upon native Windows APIs and the sanctity of Windows’virtual memory system to take its view of RAM, nor does it rely upon Windows’ virtual memorysubsystem being intact.The taken snapshots are stored securely, tamper-proof, and are used to compare various states of theseHW parts vs. previous or pristine versions of them, as well as to restore them. The snapshot comparisonis done dynamically and in real-time, as is the restore to pristine/clean state (i.e., unlike other solutions,the machine need not be taken offline, or to a forensic lab for analysis and remediation).Once taken, snapshots can also be exported in real-time to a remote host (either LynxSecuremanagement system of any 3rd party system connected via API). This feature allows for real-time large-scale detection and monitoring of rootkit infection, as well as building a big picture of live evolution ofthe rootkit infection. It also allows taking countermeasures very rapidly.Dynamic real-time “compare & restore”:At any given time, and when instructed to do so, LynxSecure can dynamically restore the pristine un-tampered image of the infected part (the “Golden Image”), and even succeed doing so if 1st boot ofsystem is in a dirty environment. For example, if a new Windows installation is booted on LynxSecure,and that Windows was already infected with a rootkit (prior to being booted on LynxSecure), LynxSecurecan detect that infection and either flag it to a system administrator, or take direct action to restore(depending on configuration).This “compare & restore” is done in real-time and can also be configured to be done automaticallywithout any human intervention.Based on the policy, LynxSecure can be instructed to boot the infected guest OS (“dirty boot”) forpurpose of analysis.The “Golden Image” is persistent and survives hard reboots and soft reboots. -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  8. 8. 8Configurability:LynxSecure is highly configurable. Each of the above scanning, snapshotting and restore functions can beconfigured and fine-tuned according to needs. Each function can be completely or conditionally turnedon and off.Network Monitoring:Rootkits are typically associated with botnets, communicating continuously with their command &control (C&C) servers. Towards that end LynxSecure can monitor network device access, especially inconjunction with the boot process.No single point of failure:LynxSecure is superior to other hypervisors in that other hypervisors, which rely upon a single point offailure, like dom0 in Xen (the single super-user domain), can have that failure point affect all analysisengines and VMs in that system. LynxSecure VBIOS, FVS and VDS, on the other hand, are not a singlepoint of failure. Each guest OS has its own separate VBIOS/FVS.Running underneath Windows, LynxSecure does not depend upon Windows (or any other guest OS), norrely upon Windows kernel APIs, Windows drivers, or other attack vectors of rootkits (unlike commonWindows-resident security clients).Highlighted Case: TDL-4 RootkitTDL-4 is the most wide-spread rootkit, one of the most potent and persistent of all rootkits. There’s anabundance of research about this rootkit (and its variants) and its anatomy. In this highlighted case weshowcase LynxSecure ability to detect, block and remediate infected target.Configuration of target: The target used was a generic Dell Latitude Laptop, with a vanilla Windows 7 guest installed on top of LynxSecure. LynxSecure was configured to include a "Golden Image" of the block containing the Windows Master Boot Record (MBR) from a native Windows installation, as well as one of the last disk sector. The “Golden Image” is a block of the disk. The Golden MBR is stored with LynxSecure in a location that cannot be tampered with by Windows at runtime. The protection mechanisms of the LynxSecure hypervisor assure this.Sequence (note: all stages & actions are done in real--time):Non-infected target:1. In order to launch Windows, LynxSecure first launches the LynxSecure Virtual BIOS (VBIOS).2. VBIOS identifies the boot media associated with the Windows installation, then performs a scan of certain blocks of that device. In this particular configuration, the 0th block was scanned (LBA 0) and a snapshot of this block was taken. This block contains the MBR and is also stored by LynxSecure in location that cannot be accessed by Windows. (Note: This snapshot is not the “Golden Image” -- they are two separate disk block images). The same was done with the disk last sector. On every hard boot and soft boot (reboot) of Windows, a new snapshot is taken, and it is always compared to the “Golden Image”. The “Golden image” does not change, the snapshot can; in the infected case it does.3. Next, the snapshot is compared to the “Golden Image”. As this is the initial boot of Windows, the snapshot matches the “Golden Image”, so the VBIOS creates an audit record. -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  9. 9. 94. The audit record is exported to the auxiliary guest OS running in the same system (VDS). The VDS forwards the record to the remote LynxSecure management system.5. The VBIOS boots Windows, and Windows continues its own boot process.Instantiation of rootkit infection:1. The rootkit dropper is activated by manually clicking on the dropper executable.2. The rootkit installs itself onto the drive, and infects the MBR. Immediately, the rootkit attempts to reboot Windows in order to activate and avoid detection.3. Upon the reboot attempt of Windows, LynxSecure VBIOS is activated again by the hypervisor, scans the 0th block and takes a new snapshot of the 0th block (i.e., the block containing the Windows MBR).Remediation sequence:1. VBIOS takes another snapshot of the MBR then compares it to the “Golden Image” and the prior snapshot.2. As this new snapshot does not match the “Golden Image”, an audit record is created indicating the lack of a match against the “Golden Image”.3. The audit record is exported to the VDS; the VDS sends the data to the remote LynxSecure management system.4. Immediately after VBIOS generates the audit record, it suspends Windows before it completes its boot.5. LynxSecure management system prompts a user/agent with a decision choice: Either proceed with booting the tampered system, or restore the system with the “Golden Image”, and reboot it.6. The user/agent makes the choice to restore the “Golden Image”.7. The data is sent to the VDS.8. VDS provides the data to the VBIOS, which boots Windows. Note: VBIOS is a separate runtime entity from the VDS. LynxSecure provides a separate VBIOS for each fully virtualized guest OS at runtime.9. If “restore” option is chosen: a. VBIOS over-writes the MBR on the disk with the “Golden Image”. b. Windows boots, clean of rootkit.10. If “restore” option is not chosen: a. VBIOS boots the existing (infected) MBR that’s on the disk. b. The “Golden Image” remains, of course, for possible later usage. -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  10. 10. 10 Captured Data: Below are snapshots of target HD sectors, taken by LynxSecure before and after TDL-4infection. Clean MBR Infected MBRLegend: MBR loader signature MBR error strings Boot sector signatureNote: Infected MBR shows TDL-4 has added code, moving the error strings & boot sector signature to a different location0000000: 33c0 8ed0 bc00 7c8e c08e d8be 007c bf00 3.....|......|.. 0000000: 33c0 8ed0 bc00 7cfb 5007 501f fcbe 1b7c 3.....|.P.P....|0000010: 06b9 0002 fcf3 a450 681c 06cb fbb9 0400 .......Ph....... 0000010: bf1b 0650 57b9 e501 f3a4 cbbd be07 b104 ...PW...........0000020: bdbe 0780 7e00 007c 0b0f 850e 0183 c510 ....~..|........ 0000020: 386e 007c 0975 1383 c510 e2f4 cd18 8bf5 8n.|.u..........0000030: e2f1 cd18 8856 0055 c646 1105 c646 1000 .....V.U.F...F.. 0000030: 83c6 1049 7419 382c 74f6 a0b5 07b4 078b ...It.8,t.......0000040: b441 bbaa 55cd 135d 720f 81fb 55aa 7509 .A..U..]r...U.u. 0000040: f0ac 3c00 74fc bb07 00b4 0ecd 10eb f288 ..<.t...........0000050: f7c1 0100 7403 fe46 1066 6080 7e10 0074 ....t..F.f`.~..t 0000050: 4e10 e846 0073 2afe 4610 807e 040b 740b N..F.s*.F..~..t.0000060: 2666 6800 0000 0066 ff76 0868 0000 6800 &fh....f.v.h..h. 0000060: 807e 040c 7405 a0b6 0775 d280 4602 0683 .~..t....u..F...0000070: 7c68 0100 6810 00b4 428a 5600 8bf4 cd13 |h..h...B.V..... 0000070: 4608 0683 560a 00e8 2100 7305 a0b6 07eb F...V...!.s.....0000080: 9f83 c410 9eeb 14b8 0102 bb00 7c8a 5600 ............|.V. 0000080: bc81 3efe 7d55 aa74 0b80 7e10 0074 c8a0 ..>.}U.t..~..t..0000090: 8a76 018a 4e02 8a6e 03cd 1366 6173 1cfe .v..N..n...fas.. 0000090: b707 eba9 8bfc 1e57 8bf5 cbbf 0500 8a56 .......W.......V00000a0: 4e11 750c 807e 0080 0f84 8a00 b280 eb84 N.u..~.......... 00000a0: 00b4 08cd 1372 238a c124 3f98 8ade 8afc .....r#..$?.....00000b0: 5532 e48a 5600 cd13 5deb 9e81 3efe 7d55 U2..V...]...>.}U 00000b0: 43f7 e38b d186 d6b1 06d2 ee42 f7e2 3956 C..........B..9V00000c0: aa75 6eff 7600 e88d 0075 17fa b0d1 e664 .un.v....u.....d 00000c0: 0a77 2372 0539 4608 731c b801 02bb 007c .w#r.9F.s......|00000d0: e883 00b0 dfe6 60e8 7c00 b0ff e664 e875 ......`.|....d.u 00000d0: 8b4e 028b 5600 cd13 7351 4f74 4e32 e48a .N..V...sQOtN2..00000e0: 00fb b800 bbcd 1a66 23c0 753b 6681 fb54 .......f#.u;f..T 00000e0: 5600 cd13 ebe4 8a56 0060 bbaa 55b4 41cd V......V.`..U.A.00000f0: 4350 4175 3281 f902 0172 2c66 6807 bb00 CPAu2....r,fh... 00000f0: 1372 3681 fb55 aa75 30f6 c101 742b 6160 .r6..U.u0...t+a`0000100: 0066 6800 0200 0066 6808 0000 0066 5366 .fh....fh....fSf 0000100: 6a00 6a00 ff76 0aff 7608 6a00 6800 7c6a j.j..v..v.j.h.|j0000110: 5366 5566 6800 0000 0066 6800 7c00 0066 SfUfh....fh.|..f 0000110: 016a 10b4 428b f4cd 1361 6173 0e4f 740b .j..B....aas.Ot.0000120: 6168 0000 07cd 1a5a 32f6 ea00 7c00 00cd ah.....Z2...|... 0000120: 32e4 8a56 00cd 13eb d661 f9c3 496e 7661 2..V.....a..Inva0000130: 18a0 b707 eb08 a0b6 07eb 03a0 b507 32e4 ..............2. 0000130: 6c69 6420 7061 7274 6974 696f 6e20 7461 lid partition ta0000140: 0500 078b f0ac 3c00 7409 bb07 00b4 0ecd ......<.t....... 0000140: 626c 6500 4572 726f 7220 6c6f 6164 696e ble.Error loadin0000150: 10eb f2f4 ebfd 2bc9 e464 eb00 2402 e0f8 ......+..d..$... 0000150: 6720 6f70 6572 6174 696e 6720 7379 7374 g operating syst0000160: 2402 c349 6e76 616c 6964 2070 6172 7469 $..Invalid parti 0000160: 656d 004d 6973 7369 6e67 206f 7065 7261 em.Missing opera0000170: 7469 6f6e 2074 6162 6c65 0045 7272 6f72 tion table.Error 0000170: 7469 6e67 2073 7973 7465 6d00 0000 0000 ting system.....0000180: 206c 6f61 6469 6e67 206f 7065 7261 7469 loading operati 0000180: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................0000190: 6e67 2073 7973 7465 6d00 4d69 7373 696e ng system.Missin 0000190: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................00001a0: 6720 6f70 6572 6174 696e 6720 7379 7374 g operating syst 00001a0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................00001b0: 656d 0000 0063 7b9a d821 aa0f 0000 8020 em...c{..!..... 00001b0: 0000 0000 002c 4463 182e 07c3 0000 0000 .....,Dc........00001c0: 2100 070e 50fe 0008 0000 0000 7d00 000e !...P.......}... 00001c0: 0101 0c55 d629 801f 0000 80a0 dd01 0000 ...U.)..........00001d0: 51fe 07fe ffff 0008 7d00 69dd 030a 0000 Q.......}.i..... 00001d0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................00001e0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00001e0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................00001f0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 55aa ..............U. 00001f0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 55aa ..............U. Clean last sector Infected last sectorLegend: TDL-4 file system (the loader)Note: Last disk sector should be empty. Infected last sector shows TDL-4 file system, containing the loader and other files0000000: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000000: 5344 0000 0000 7068 2e64 6c6c 0000 0000 SD....ph.dll....0000010: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000010: 0000 0000 0000 0100 0000 0070 0000 101e ...........p....0000020: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000020: 92ee 7c0e ce01 7068 782e 646c 6c00 0000 ..|...phx.dll...0000030: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000030: 0000 0000 0000 3a00 0000 000c 0000 101e ......:.........0000040: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000040: 92ee 7c0e ce01 7068 6400 0000 0000 0000 ..|...phd.......0000050: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000050: 0000 0000 0000 4100 0000 007e 0000 101e ......A....~....0000060: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000060: 92ee 7c0e ce01 7068 6478 0000 0000 0000 ..|...phdx......0000070: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000070: 0000 0000 0000 8100 0000 0056 0000 101e ...........V....0000080: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000080: 92ee 7c0e ce01 7068 7300 0000 0000 0000 ..|...phs.......0000090: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000090: 0000 0000 0000 ad00 0000 ab00 0000 101e ................00000a0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00000a0: 92ee 7c0e ce01 7068 6461 7461 0000 0000 ..|...phdata....00000b0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00000b0: 0000 0000 0000 ae00 0000 3b00 0000 101e ..........;.....00000c0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00000c0: 92ee 7c0e ce01 7068 6c64 0000 0000 0000 ..|...phld......00000d0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00000d0: 0000 0000 0000 af00 0000 df04 0000 101e ................00000e0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00000e0: 92ee 7c0e ce01 7068 6c6e 0000 0000 0000 ..|...phln......00000f0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00000f0: 0000 0000 0000 b200 0000 460c 0000 101e ..........F.....0000100: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000100: 92ee 7c0e ce01 7068 6c78 0000 0000 0000 ..|...phlx......0000110: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000110: 0000 0000 0000 b900 0000 480e 0000 101e ..........H.....0000120: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000120: 92ee 7c0e ce01 7068 6d00 0000 0000 0000 ..|...phm.......0000130: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000130: 0000 0000 0000 c100 0000 0002 0000 101e ................0000140: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000140: 92ee 7c0e ce01 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ..|.............0000150: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000150: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................0000160: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000160: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................0000170: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000170: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................0000180: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000180: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................0000190: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 0000190: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................00001a0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00001a0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................00001b0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00001b0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................00001c0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00001c0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................00001d0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00001d0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................00001e0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00001e0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................00001f0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ 00001f0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................0000200: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ................ -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  11. 11. 11Usage of LynxSecureUsage of virtualization as a means to provide security is a novel and radical concept. Securevirtualization, such as LynxSecure, is a double-edged security solution:1. It secures the machine on which it is installed by virtue of its secure design and provides complete control and manageability2. It’s capable of proactively protect against cyber-threats.Scope of detection:LynxSecure’s protection includes built in-mechanisms and programmatic APIs, to scan for both “absenceof good” and “presence of evil”, in a hardened, in-line, real-time environment.LynxSecure is capable of detecting rootkits targeting master boot records, volume/partition bootrecords, slack disk sectors, platform architecture properties (IDTs, GDTs), guest OS software constructs(SSDTs), and other portions of guest OS storage and memory at runtime.Using LynxSecure for rootkit & APT research:LynxSecure is a vital tool for those engaged in research and analysis of rootkits. It can serve as an acutesensor for zero-day rootkits and its real-time activity can significantly enhance and speed-up thecapabilities to detect rootkits and generate data about their activity.A significant “productivity bonus” is the fact that once infected, rootkit test-beds need not becompletely restored in a lengthy offline process, but simply restored in real-time using LynxSecurenative restore function.Using LynxSecure as a “rootkit sensor” in IT networks:LynxSecure can serve as a vital and one-of-a-kind rootkit sensor in large IT networks, providing IT staffwith immediate information about rootkit infections & their dynamics. In this configuration, LynxSecureallows for immediate actions (i.e., remove certain nodes out of the network, block certain networksegments etc.) to block and contain cyber-attacks, saving the currently unbearably-long discovery &response time. The ability to prevent an infected node from spreading the infection throughout thenetwork is literally priceless. -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  12. 12. 12Rootkits & Bootkits 101:Much has been said about rootkits and bootkits, but still the unknown is much bigger than the known.What is a rootkit?What separates a rootkit from a regular Trojan is that a rootkit, by definition, occupies Ring 0, alsoknown as root or kernel level, the highest run privilege available, which is where the OS (OperatingSystem) itself runs. Non-rootkit trojans typically run in Ring 3, or user level, which is where ordinaryapplications run, though some sources refer to userland trojans as “rootkits” also. Usually, but notalways, a rootkit will actively obfuscate and attempt to hide its presence from the user and any securitysoftware present. Rootkits subvert the OS through the kernel (core operating system) or privilegeddrivers. This enables a rootkit to operate as a part of the OS itself rather than a program being run bythe OS. This high level of sophistication makes rootkits extremely difficult to detect and remove. Oftenanti-virus products will be unable to detect or remove a rootkit once it has taken over the OS and morespecialized detection and removal procedures are required. (source: SANS Institute, 2011)More specifically: Rootkit installs into the OS file-system and lower – the master boot record (MBR) -- and hooks into OS data-structures. It circumvents anti-malware clients and disables or cripples them. It performs its network communication with its command & control server (the botnet) at levels 1 & 2, and is therefore out of reach of OS-based security applications and anti-virus software. It changes its behavior dynamically and utilizes elaborate polymorphism.There is no existing zero-day/proactive protection against bootkit to date. If some rootkit activity isdetected, the protection and removal must be done in reactive offline mode only.What is a bootkit?Bootkit is the stealthiest form of rootkit, the most persistent one and the hardest to remove oncedetected. It’s also considered as the most sophisticated form of rootkit. Bootkit installs itself into theMaster Boot Record (MBR), other parts of the boot sectors and hidden disk sectors.MBR is the portion of the hard drive that tells the BIOS where to find the OS. This is a critical handoff ofresponsibility between the BIOS which does the initial boot sequence when the computer is started andthe OS which takes over. By subverting this process the bootkit is able to inject itself between thecomputers hardware and OS, subtly altering data sent back and forth to mask its presence and takeover the system.Every time the OS tries to read files from the hard drive the bootkit intercepts the attempt andsubstitutes either fake data to hide itself or modified data to trick the OS into loading and executinginfected files. By selectively intercepting attempts to read and execute kernel drivers the bootkit loadsitself into memory and takes over the OS. If the user attempts to view the bootkit files, the bootkit cangive a false report of there being no trace of its files. Since the bootkit often never actually modifies theOS files on the hard drive itself, but only gives modified data when the file is being loaded into memory,it becomes even harder to detect. It can also detect and intercept any attempt to delete the bootkititself or any portion thereof. Even if the bootkit is deleted, since it is loaded in the MBR, the system canbe re-infected when it is rebooted.By being situated lower than the OS, it enjoys security privilege level higher than those of the OS it’s setto attack, thus gaining control over the entire OS. Being hidden so low also makes it invisible and -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --
  13. 13. 13undetectable by the OS. This gives the bootkit complete freedom of action, and also allows it reinstallitself into the OS if those parts have been detected and cleaned by the anti-malware client. (source:SANS Institute, 2011)No wonder the most common of all bootkits – TDL-4/TDSS has been described by Kaspersky Labs as“indestructible”…# Name Type % of Total1 Win32.Bot.ZeroAccess Bot 16.87 2 Win32.Backdoor.TDSS Bot 10.03 3 Win32.Downloader.Agent.TK Downloader 6.514 Win32.Trojan.Alureon.A Bot 6.28 5 MAC.Bot.Flashback.K/I Bot 4.146 Win32.BankingTrojan.Zeus BankingTrojan 3.83 7 Win32.Bot.Alureon/TDL/TDSS Bot 3.39 8 Win32.Virus.Sality.AT Virus 2.21 9 DNS.Trojan.DNSchanger Trojan 1.9110 Win32.Trojan.Medfos.A Trojan 1.87 * Source: Kindsight 2012 malware report -- LynuxWorks Proprietary & Confidential --

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