Chapter 9. Dynamic Analysis

Dynamic analysis is the process of executing malware in a monitored environment to observe its behaviors. This technique can quickly yield information such as created files, created registry keys, contacted websites, and so on. If you're not an experienced IDA Pro user or simply don't have time to perform a thorough static analysis of the code, you can use dynamic analysis to get a quick initial perspective of the malware's capabilities.

The purpose of this chapter is not to provide a comprehensive list of actions that you should perform during a dynamic analysis. For example, capturing network traffic, which is discussed in Chapters 7 and 8, is not discussed again here. The purpose is to show you how dynamic analysis tools work, so you can understand their strengths, weaknesses, and, ultimately, how you can choose the right tool for the job. Additionally, we will provide you with a number of new tools and techniques for capturing a malware sample's behaviors or interacting with it as it executes.

Before you begin reading and following along with the material in this chapter, make sure you set up a safe, isolated lab environment such as the ones described in Chapter 7.

Detecting the changes that malware makes to a system is a key aspect of dynamic analysis. However, the number of files and registry keys that are modified while a system is idle, or as a result of running your monitoring tools, can be excessive and overwhelming. To get the most out of your ...

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