Unmask Script Attacks: Sandboxes, the Security Analysts’ Secret Weapon

December 14, 2023
1 min read

Key Points:

  • Cybercriminals use scripts to infiltrate endpoints which can be highly destructive, potentially compromising entire networks.
  • Analysing suspicious files in malware analysis sandboxes is crucial in preventing these attacks.
  • Sandboxes can decode seemingly unreadable files, granting a full view of script execution.
  • They can also track executable interactions, identifying scripts that are dependent on executables.

Cyber criminals commonly use scripts to infiltrate endpoints. These script-based attacks can trigger an infection chain, potentially compromising entire networks. Therefore, analysing suspicious files in malware analysis sandboxes proves crucial in prevention. Sandboxes decode and analyse script files, granting the user and security analysts a full overview of the script’s execution process, which includes requested functions, transferred data, and commands.

A vital example of sandbox analysis includes decoding VBE files. Initially designed to safeguard intellectual property, VBE files can hide their source code hindering analysis and allowing detection evasion. However, uploading a VBE file to a proper sandbox service reveals the decoded VBS script’s inner workings. The ability to view command returns adds to the utility of sandboxes. An analyst can see the output of commands executed within scripts and download the results for further scrutiny.

Moreover, a thorough understanding of script usage by executables is crucial in detecting and neutralizing script-based malware. Sandboxes can track interactions between scripts and executables. This insight can help analysts identify malicious scripts that rely on executables for their functionality. In one example, a malicious executable uses the Windows Management Instrumentation Command (WMIC) tool to load and execute a VBScript file. This tactic allows the malware to conceal its true intentions and manipulate the system without detection.

Sandboxes also present a streamlined method for investigating VBS-based malware, saving time on comprehensive reverse engineering or debugging. For instance, analysis of the WSHRAT malware using sandbox technology revealed malicious activity that might have been missed otherwise. In conclusion, sandbox technology adds layers to understanding the behavior of malicious codes, enhancing cybersecurity measures.

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