NEWS FROM THE LAB - Thursday, January 7, 2010

University Course on Malware Analysis Posted by Antti @ 12:58 GMT

For two years now, we've been co-operating with the Helsinki University of Technology, having researchers from the F-Secure Labs giving lectures on a course dedicated to the topic.

We have good news: this spring is no exception! We're going to cover topics from reverse engineering to antivirus engine internals, including homework puzzles that will make the students test their skills with actual tools of the trade like IDA Pro and Ollydbg.

Now although we won't give out actual malware samples to the students, we try to cover a lot of real cases on the lectures. Something that hasn't changed over the years is the habit of malware authors leaving secret messages in their creations. As I was going through samples to show, I picked out a few examples. Here's a boot sector infected by Brain, the first PC virus from 1986:

Boot sector infected by Brain

And here's a rootkit driver seen in the wild during the Christmas holidays of 2009, trying to make the message a bit less easy to spot:

Strings in a TDL3 rootkit variant

We'll touch on both cases during the lectures.

If you're not a student at the university, you can view the course material from the course page, where we'll post new material as the course progresses.