Chapter 4. Sandboxes and Multi-AV Scanners

Online sandboxes and multi-AV scanners can provide a quick and easy first impression of unknown files. In most cases, using these services requires little more effort than point, click, and read, but that is certainly not all you can do with them. Certain systems are designed to mask the back-end complexities and provide a very user-friendly and intuitive interface. Other systems are built to be flexible, allowing you to extend them with your own tools, scripts, and parameters. This chapter describes a few of the possibilities that can make your experience with sandboxes and multi-AV scanners even better.

Before we begin, you should understand the risks of using these services. False positives and false negatives will always be a problem. Even if 40 out of 40 antivirus products indicate that a file is safe, that doesn't necessarily mean the file is safe. Additionally, unless you run a private instance of the service, the files you submit to public sites may be automatically shared with other vendors and third parties. This is generally good because the vendors need samples to build new signatures. However, targeted malware may contain hard-coded usernames, passwords, DNS names, or IP addresses of internal systems, which you don't want distributed any more than necessary.

In addition to exposure of data to vendors and possibly the public, another factor to consider, that we previously described in Chapter 1, is notifying attackers that they've ...

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