Static Malware Detection Vs Detection of Dynamic Malware


Study of malware: Introduction

Cyber criminals are becoming more advanced and innovative, and new and advanced malware are emerging and detection of malware is a real challenge. Analysis of malware that involves analysis of the origin, functionality and potential impact of any malware sample is crucial in terms of cybersecurity in the modern world.

For various purposes, security professionals depend on malware analysis. They could use it to evaluate the infection when a malware strike occurs or to recognize the malware in question. Likewise, a thorough understanding of the functionality and effects of any malware sample allows them to better deal with cyber attacks.

Two different types of malware analysis are available, namely static malware analysis and dynamic malware analysis.

Static malware analysis

Static malware analysis involves examining a given sample of malware without actually executing or running the code. This is usually done by deciding the signature of the malware archive; the signature for the binary file is a unique identifier. Calculating and understanding the binary file’s cryptographic hash helps identify its signature. The malware binary file executable is loaded in a disassembler (for example IDA) to convert the software executable code into assembly language code. Therefore it is easy for a person to read and understand with this reverse engineering in a malware binary archive. The researcher can better understand the malware by looking at the assembly language software. A better idea of the functionalities it is designed to do and its potential impact on any device and network can be created. Analysts use a range of static analytical techniques, including file fingerprinting, scanning malware, memory dumping, packer detection and debugging.

Dynamic Malware analysis

Dynamic malware analysis requires analysis when running the code in a controlled environment, unlike static malware analysis. The malware is operated in a closed, isolated virtual environment and its behavior is investigated. The aim is to recognize and use this information to stop the spread of it or to eliminate the disease. Debuggers are used to determine the malware functionality of the executable in advanced dynamic malware analysis. Unlike static analysis, the dynamic malware analysis is behavioral and therefore researchers won’t miss essential malware strain behaviors.

Static Vs Dynamic Malware Analysis: Differences

Let us seek to list the fundamental differences between the different types of malware analyses.

  • Although static malware analysis is focused on signatures, dynamic analysis is conduct-based.
  • While the code is not executed during a static analysis, the malware code is executed in a sandbox.
  • Static analysis is very basic and only examines the malware’s actions and tries to examine its capabilities.
  • Dynamic analysis provides a more thorough analysis of the behavior, features and effect of the malware by analyst at each point of its deployment and operation.
  • Although static analysis works on the common malware, dynamic analysis is important for sophisticated and advanced malware.

The conclusion

Analysis of malware is extremely important, because it helps to understand malware infections and stop malware spreading to other systems, files, directories, etc. Malware analysis, both static and dynamic, helps us better understand malware and its functioning and helps us prevent more attacks in a very effective way.

Melina Richardson is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cybers Guards & w-se. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.