Security Experts:

NetWitness to Unveil New Methodology in Signature-Free Malware Identification

Network monitoring solutions firm NetWitness has announced plans to unveil what it’s calling a revolutionary approach to automating malware analysis. Using a new methodology that replicates the knowledge, process, and workflow of world-class malware analysts, NetWitness says it can more easily enable the identification of advanced and zero-day malware.

NetWitness Malware AnalysisThe company plans to unveil the technology, Dubbed NetWitness Spectrum, at next month's RSA Security Conference in San Francisco.

According to a recent report from TrustWave’s SpiderLabs, generic, widespread malware is slowly becoming more customized, one-off pieces of software — a trend that is challenging the foundation of the anti-virus industry. “The ease with which one can create a variant of malware that is undetectable by anti-virus companies is well-known. The less often discussed issue is the fact that attackers do not always rely on custom code. Samples we have uncovered in compromised environments are often unmodified, off-the-shelf key logging products that can be easily found and purchased online. The compromised systems often use leading anti-virus solutions with the up-to-date virus definitions but most custom malware cannot be categorized as viruses or Trojans,” the report notes.

"Previous products attempting to identify zero-day malware implement black box methodologies that rely on accurate threat intelligence to target a very limited sample pool to a singular form of malware analysis. Spectrum transparently delivers NetWitness' pervasive real-time monitoring along with a diverse range of potent analytic methods," said Tim Belcher, Chief Technology Officer, NetWitness Corporation.

"With a detailed record of everything that has happened on the network, the analytic possibilities are vast," said Joshua Corman, Research Director of Enterprise Security at The 451 Group.

NetWitness Spectrum Provides the Following Capabilities:

• Mimics the techniques of leading malware analysts by asking thousands of questions about an object and all of its related network behavior, without requiring a signature or a known "bad" action.

• Leverages NetWitness Live by fusing and triangulating information from leading threat intelligence and reputation services to assess, score, and prioritize risks.

• Utilizes NetWitness NextGen's pervasive network monitoring capability for full network visibility and extraction of all content – executable and metadata – across all protocols and applications.

• Provides transparency and efficiency to malware analytic processes by delivering complete answers to security professionals, including a wealth of detailed supporting data, such as: intelligence fusion, sandboxing, correlation, and scoring options that are designed for diverse environments and rapidly evolving threats.

When combining these distinct analytic and scoring methods with the unique benefits obtained from pervasive visibility into content and behavior, NetWitness Spectrum provides a powerful capability to detect and identify zero-day malware.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.