Malicious Code Defuser

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8750-06-C-0120
Agency Tracking Number: O053-SP2-1161
Amount: $98,943.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD05-SP2
Solicitation Number: 2005.3
Small Business Information
301 East Carrillo Street 2FL, P. O. Box 519, Santa Barbara, CA, 93102
DUNS: 053859526
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Dick
 Principal Scientist
 (805) 966-6157
Business Contact
 Douglas Harris
Title: CEO
Phone: (805) 966-6157
Research Institution
Malicious software is an alarming threat - recent studies show: 80% of corporate computers are infected; 23% of surveyed companies reported deliberate malware downloads by employees; and 75% of the top 50 Internet worms were designed for identity theft. We identify three threat scenarios in defusing malware: (a) actual source code is available; (b) binary code is available but not source code; and (c) the payload has executed. In the first two cases, the objective is to defuse prior to any damage. In the latter case, defusing is a diagnostic "post-mortem", to interdict future damage. This proposal analyzes the technical issues surrounding the problem; describes the requirements for an effective solution; and identifies the technical challenges to reaching the solution. In and of itself, this proposal provides original research. We then lay out specific steps to create and demonstrate: (a) a program verifier to analyze source code for payloads and vulnerabilities; (b) a static analysis tool to analyze binary executables for payloads and vulnerabilities; (c) a virtual environment to safely run executables, allowing payloads to execute harmlessly; and (d) an analysis tool that examines system logs and disk images to automate post mortem analysis when payloads are executed on other systems.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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