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APT Research Discourse at Virus Bulletin 2015


Kaspersky Lab researchers presented a closing keynote and three other papers related to targeted attacks and APT research at Virus Bulletin 2015 in Prague. Our work covered a set of significant topics most related to current APT research:

  • Keynote address: One man’s anti-malware researcher is…, Costin Raiu


  • The ethics and perils of APT research: an unexpected transition into intelligence brokerage, Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade
  • Last-minute paper: TurlaSat: The Fault in our Stars, Kurt Baumgartner


  • The TAO of .NET and PowerShell malware analysis, Santiago Pontiroli and Roberto Martinez

Topics arising at the conference that were most interesting included APT research and threat intelligence, Linux (and embedded) as a targeted platform in much higher prevalence, and Apple’s security technology Gatekeeper flaws. Costin, the mysterious spook, and Juan’s talks and papers reflected on the threat intelligence industry as a transformation from malware analysis to intelligence brokerage and the challenges already encountered by both individuals being warned to “take a break”, and the nature of an industry in need of validation when its work is mostly behind closed doors. My talk discussed the Turla APT’s satcomm hijack techniques from the perspective of reviewing connective clusters of components to identify Turla activity, including some discussion of components almost within grasp but not known since 2008. And some connections with stolen Phonoelit concepts, tools and code, from Penquin Turla to GRE attack inspiration PoC. And Roberto and Santiago’s talk discussed a newer set of technologies also deployed by APT.

Conference slides that were shared by speakers can be found here. Upcoming Securelist posts may elaborate on our papers and topics. And cheers to the hardworking and talented Virus Bulletin team for their conference’s 25th anniversary!

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