A Step towards Static Script Malware Abstraction: Rewriting Obfuscated Script with Maude

Gregory BLANC  Youki KADOBAYASHI  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E94-D   No.11   pp.2159-2166
Publication Date: 2011/11/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E94.D.2159
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Information and Communication System Security)
Category: 
Keyword: 
web-based malware,  JavaScript,  obfuscation,  emulation,  functional unit abstraction,  

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Summary: 
Modern web applications incorporate many programmatic frameworks and APIs that are often pushed to the client-side with most of the application logic while contents are the result of mashing up several resources from different origins. Such applications are threatened by attackers that often attempts to inject directly, or by leveraging a stepstone website, script codes that perform malicious operations. Web scripting based malware proliferation is being more and more industrialized with the drawbacks and advantages that characterize such approach: on one hand, we are witnessing a lot of samples that exhibit the same characteristics which make these easy to detect, while on the other hand, professional developers are continuously developing new attack techniques. While obfuscation is still a debated issue within the community, it becomes clear that, with new schemes being designed, this issue cannot be ignored anymore. Because many proposed countermeasures confess that they perform better on unobfuscated contents, we propose a 2-stage technique that first relieve the burden of obfuscation by emulating the deobfuscation stage before performing a static abstraction of the analyzed sample's functionalities in order to reveal its intent. We support our proposal with evidence from applying our technique to real-life examples and provide discussion on performance in terms of time, as well as possible other applications of proposed techniques in the areas of web crawling and script classification. Additionally, we claim that such approach can be generalized to other scripting languages similar to JavaScript.