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This is a project to build a tool to attempt to allow for quick, simple, and effective yara rule creation to isolate malware families and other malicious objects of interest. This is an experiment and thus far I've had pretty good success with it. It is a work in progress and I welcome forks and feedback!

To utilize this you must find a few files from a malware family, or if not executables then containing the attribute of interest, you wish to profile, (the more the better, three to four samples seems to be effective for malware, however to isolate exploits in carrier documents it often takes many more). Please note however that this tool will only be as precise as you are in choosing what you are looking for... visit for a webapplication version of this tool.

Version and Updates

0.6.1 - Added logic for parsing and prioritizing strings/emails/headers from emails (must submit in .eml file in order for python library to parse it properly). Added per filetype string prioritization logic (IE include all email addresses and IP's common across emails before random words from email bodys). Due to targeted parsing, effective signatures can be built from a single email. Also boolean logic for email rules is "all of them" to allow for future variance in delivery methods.

0.6 - Refactored all of the code to allow for selectable filetype of samples (-f). This allows for entirely different signature generation for PDFs vs EXEs vs EMails. In addition to dispirate execution paths, each filetype has it's own string blacklist and regexlist to exclude unwanted things such as your gateway, usernames, etc. (Note: No custom per file code exists for anything beyond executables at this point, but the framework is now there)

0.5 - Added Regexes in modules/regexblacklist.txt which will remove matches from potential strings included in yara rules also added 30K strings to blacklist. Lowered hit requirment from 100 to 95% to allow more true positives from slight variants (example change of embeded C2 or UA)

0.4 - Added PEfile ( to extract and remove imports and functions from yara rules, added blacklist.txt to remove unwanted strings

0.3 - Added support for Tags, Unicode Wide Strings (Automatically Adds "wide" tag)

0.2 - Updated CLI and error handeling, removed hidden files, and ignored subdirectories

0.1 - Released, supports regular string extraction


[+] Allow for scanning of benign/baseline files to automatically populate blacklists for various filetypes

[+] Create custom execution paths leveraging opensource tools for various filetypes (IE email/pdf/office docs ..etc)

[+] Continue to improve fidelity and flexibility of algos and underlying methodologies to generate signatures


Usage is as follows with an example of a basic search + hitting all of the switches below:

usage: [-h] -r RULENAME -f FILETYPE [-a AUTHOR] [-d DESCRIPTION] [-t TAGS] InputDirectory 


positional arguments:
  InputDirectory        Path To Files To Create Yara Rule From

optional arguments:
  -h , --help             show this help message and exit
  -r , --RuleName         Enter A Rule/Alert Name (No Spaces + Must Start with Letter)
  -a , --Author           Enter Author Name
  -d , --Description      Provide a useful description of the Yara Rule
  -t , --Tags             Apply Tags to Yara Rule For Easy Reference (AlphaNumeric)
  -v , --Verbose          Print Finished Rule To Standard Out
  -f , --FileType         Select Sample Set FileType choices are: unknown, exe,
                          pdf, email, office, js-html

The blacklist.txt file in the /modules directory allows entry of one string per line, these strings will never appear in a rule generated by YaraGenerator.

The regexblacklist.txt in the /modules directory allows entry of one Regular Expression per line. * Remember to use ^ and $ for the begining and end of a string if you wish to match exactly* YaraGenerator will disqualify any string which hits on any regex in the list from input into a Yara Rule.

Example for a Specific Family of APT1 Malware:

python ../greencat/ -r Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat -a "Chris Clark" -d "APT Trojan Comment Panda" -t "APT" -f "exe"

[+] Generating Yara Rule Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat from files located in: ../greencat/

[+] Yara Rule Generated: Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat.yar

  [+] Files Examined: ['871cc547feb9dbec0285321068e392b8', '6570163cd34454b3d1476c134d44b9d9', '57e79f7df13c0cb01910d0c688fcd296']
  [+] Author Credited: Chris Clark
  [+] Rule Description: APT Trojan Comment Panda
  [+] Rule Tags: APT

[+] YaraGenerator (C) 2013

Resulting Yara Rules:

rule Win_Trojan_APT_APT1_Greencat : APT
  author = "Chris Clark"
  date = "2013-06-04"
  description = "APT Trojan Comment Crew Greencat"
  hash0 = "57e79f7df13c0cb01910d0c688fcd296"
  hash1 = "871cc547feb9dbec0285321068e392b8"
  hash2 = "6570163cd34454b3d1476c134d44b9d9"
  sample_filetype = "exe"
  yaragenerator = ""
  $string0 = "Ramdisk"
  $string1 = "Cache-Control:max-age"
  $string2 = "YYSSSSS"
  $string3 = "\\cmd.exe"
  $string4 = "Translation" wide
  $string5 = "CD-ROM"
  $string6 = "Mozilla/5.0"
  $string7 = "Volume on this computer:"
  $string8 = "pidrun"
  $string9 = "3@YAXPAX@Z"
  $string10 = "SMAgent.exe" wide
  $string11 = "Shell started successfully"
  $string12 = "Content-Length: %d"
  $string13 = "t4j SV3"
  $string14 = "Program started"
  $string15 = "Started already,"
  $string16 = "SoundMAX service agent" wide
  16 of them


GreenCat Rule:

100% Hits on Test Samples:

$ yara -rg Trojan_Win_GreenCat.yar greencat/
Trojan_Win_GreenCat [APT] ../greencat//8bf5a9e8d5bc1f44133c3f118fe8ca1701d9665a72b3893f509367905feb0a00
Trojan_Win_GreenCat [APT] ../greencat//c196cac319e5c55e8169b6ed6930a10359b3db322abe8f00ed8cb83cf0888d3b
Trojan_Win_GreenCat [APT] ../greencat//c23039cf2f859e659e59ec362277321fbcdac680e6d9bc93fc03c8971333c25e

100% True Positives On Other Samples In the APT1 Cadre which were detected as Green Cat By Other Yara Rules:

$ yara -r Trojan_Win_GreenCat.yar .Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat [APT] ../../MalwareSamples/APT1Malware//1877a5d2f9c415109a8ac323f43be1dc10c546a72ab7207a96c6e6e71a132956
Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat [APT] ../../MalwareSamples/APT1Malware//20ed6218575155517f19d4ce46a9addbf49dcadb8f5d7bd93efdccfe1925c7d0
Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat [APT] ../../MalwareSamples/APT1Malware//4144820d9b31c4d3c54025a4368b32f727077c3ec253753360349a783846747f
Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat [APT] ../../MalwareSamples/APT1Malware//4487b345f63d20c6b91eec8ee86c307911b1f2c3e29f337aa96a4a238bf2e87c
Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat [APT] ../../MalwareSamples/APT1Malware//8bf5a9e8d5bc1f44133c3f118fe8ca1701d9665a72b3893f509367905feb0a00
Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat [APT] ../../MalwareSamples/APT1Malware//c196cac319e5c55e8169b6ed6930a10359b3db322abe8f00ed8cb83cf0888d3b
Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat [APT] ../../MalwareSamples/APT1Malware//c23039cf2f859e659e59ec362277321fbcdac680e6d9bc93fc03c8971333c25e
Win_Trojan_APT1_GreenCat [APT] ../../MalwareSamples/APT1Malware//f76dd93b10fc173eaf901ff1fb00ff8a9e1f31e3bd86e00ff773b244b54292c5

100% True Negatives on clean files:

$ yara -r Trojan_Win_GreenCat.yar ../../CleanFiles/

Author & License

YaraGenerator is copyrighted by Chris Clark 2013. Contact me at

YaraGenerator is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. YaraGenerator is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with YaraGenerator. If not, see


Automatic Yara Rule Generation






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