Much of the malware we are processing has the ability to locate and kill anti-virus programs and desktop firewalls. The following malware example illustrates the behavior clearly. There are long strands of code that query through a list of known security software process-names and subsequently sabotage them.
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The means by which the malware detects the security software is by process name. There are long lists of process names that appear in sequence, these nodes are shown on the graphic as label 'A'. Almost all variants of this behavior are similar in structure, even though they are employed across many different and unrelated malware strains.
I took the time to zoom in on one single operation (marked as B. in the following image) from the strand of control flow shown above. The strand shown above contains hundreds of these.
And, here is the disassembly for one operation:
10001A98 BB 5C 65 00 10 mov ebx,0x1000655C // webtrap.exe
10001A9D 53 push ebx
10001A9E E8 C3 25 00 00 call 0x10004066▼ // __imp_MSVCRT.dll!strlen
10001AA0 ASCII: %
10001AA0 : 25 00 %.
10001AA0 : 25 00 00 %..
10001AA3 59 pop ecx
10001AA4 50 push eax
10001AA5 53 push ebx
10001AA6 8D 4D F0 lea ecx,[ebp-0x10]
10001AA9 FF 15 8C 50 00 10 call dword ptr [0x1000508C]
10001AAF 8D 45 F0 lea eax,[ebp-0x10]
10001AB2 8D 4D DC lea ecx,[ebp-0x24]
10001AB5 50 push eax
10001AB6 FF 75 E4 push dword ptr [ebp-0x1C]
10001AB9 E8 BB 22 00 00 call 0x10003D79▼ // sub_10003D79
10001ABE 57 push edi
10001ABF 8D 4D F0 lea ecx,[ebp-0x10]
10001AC2 FF 15 90 50 00 10 call dword ptr [0x10005090]
10001AC8 8A 45 0B mov al,byte ptr [ebp+0xB]
10001ACB 56 push esi
10001ACC 8D 4D F0 lea ecx,[ebp-0x10]
10001ACF 88 45 F0 mov byte ptr [ebp-0x10],al
10001AD2 FF 15 90 50 00 10 call dword ptr [0x10005090]
What is interesting is that the list of malware to kill is commonly cut and paste around, but the methods used to parse it can vary based on which malware author is developing it. In this instance, the malware author uses the standard template library. This is a good fingerprint that can be used to find other variants of this particular author's work. Data like this can be used as an attribution factor.