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Userland Rootkit Detection

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Rootkits in userland use variety of methods to hide their presence from detectors. This includes hiding their processes, injected modules, registry keys, files, window, handles etc. Typical rootkit may employ one or more of these techniques to keep its operations under cover. As rootkit techniques gets more and more advanced, its detection becomes equally difficult and challenging.

In this context, we present you overview of various techniques used by user land rootkits to hide themselves and the detection mechanisms used by Anti Rookit softwares. All the techniques explained here are from userland and nothing from kernel land is mentioned.

Userland Rootkit - Ring Terminology

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In the ring terminology, userland rootkits run on ring3 [userland]. Ring3 is where user apps run, and since this is where every untrustworthy program runs, operating systems give this layer the least privilege that makes monitoring/detection and prevention easier as opposed to kernel rootkits. Userland rootkits modifies processes, network connections, files and events. Certain detection techniques would have a big time issue of determining, what is true and what is false? This is because everything you see is what is modified to avoid indication of compromise.

Detection techniques in userland rootkits falls under few main categories such as heuristics based, anomaly based, signature based, cross-view based, etc. This does not mean that it is simple to detect the userland rootkits. Rootkit hiding is one of the major properties of a rootkit to remain in the box that is compromised sustaining the administrator privileges for it's functioning. Rootkits need "root" or administrator privileges, and they are not the tools that provide the attackers with root/administrator privileges. This means that before a userland rootkit is entering the system, the attacker would have already breached into the perimeter and the system security and would have performed privilege escalation to obtain administrator privileges and finally install rootkit, which retains the root/admin privilege.

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Rootkits & Enterprise: Enterprise is a major victim to rootkits. What could rootkits do to them?[read more]

Rootkits & Home-users: Do home-users know the seriousness of rootkits? What should a home-user know about rootkits?[read more]

Rootkits & Information Warfare: What does the silent war of intelligence and national security, got to do with rootkit analysis?[read more]

Userland Rootkits: What should one know about userland rootkits?[read more]

Kernelland Rootkits: What should one know about kernelland rootkits?[read more]

ElfStat: ElfStat is a tool designed for detecting any kernel malware that modifies the text segment of the kernel in memory...[read more]

Syscall/Kernel function interception: This is a more stealth method of syscall hijacking without having to directly modify the syscall table; instead the first several bytes of the syscall are overwritten with a jump to the new code...[read more]

Syscall Interception: What should you know about Syscall interception by directly modifying the Syscall table?[read more]

KsiD [Kernel Symbol Interception Detection]: This tool is designed to detect kernel rootkits and kernel malware which hijack syscalls and kernel functions ...[read more]

IDT /dev/kmem rootkit method: This can be done using several methods including overwriting the first several bytes of the syscall with a jump to other code, or modifying the function pointers.[read more]

Hidden Process Detection: Hidden Process Detection [HPD] using Direct NT System Call Implemenation, PIDB (Process ID Bruteforce) method, CSRSS Process Handle Enumeration and other methods...[read more]

Hidden Registry Detection: Reason for Hiding the Registry Entries, Rootkit techniques to hide, and Detecting Hidden Registry Entries Using Direct NT System Call Method and Directly Reading Hives Method...[read more]

Hidden Service Detection: Hidden Rootkit Services Detection Methods...Enumerating Processes with 'NtControlPipe', Hook Bypass Method through Mapped Image, Services Enumerating Child Processes of Services.exe, Enumerating Services Registry Key...[read more]

Syscall Handler Checker [SHC]: This tool simply verifies whether or not the system call handler system_call() has been patched to call a phony sys_call_table. If a phony sys_call_table appears to be in use, a tool like elfstat can be used for further analysis...[read more]

Firmware Rootkits: Firmware is a small static code that runs on devices ranging from consumer electronics to anything that controls heavy machinery...[read more]

Hypervisor Rootkits: This comes under both firmware and hardware rootkits. The reason being, hypervisor is a virtual environment that runs on the hardware, but basically it is a firmware. Hence, we have drawn the line and dropped this rootkit in the firmware category of rootkits...[read more]

Publications: In this section, we are planning to list all the papers that we have published so far that are rootkit related.

Backdoor Ultimate Defender: In this paper (Backdoor.Win32.UltimateDefender.gtz - Reversing) we analyze install.exe that presents the typical structure of an Medium Evoluted Malware, with basical Obfuscated-Dummy Code...[read more]

Socialize: You could socialize with us by many ways...[read more]

About: Learn about rootkit analytics here...[read more]

Contact us: How can you reach us...[read more]

Our Team: Read more about the rootkit analytics team...[read more]

dwtf v1.0: dwtf is a DLL copying engine ... [read more]

Exploring ADS: Alternate Data Stream (ADS) is the lesser known feature of Windows NTFS file system which...[read more]

Installations [from RootkitAnalytics.com]

ToolsCount
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Elfstat5689
dwtf4758
KsiD4224
SHC3327

NOTE: Our tools are listed in many sites and torrents, which makes it hard for us to track all downloads. Hence, we are listing only the total installations from our website.

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