A system to record malware using PANDA
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A system to record malware using PANDA.

This is the system currently used by http://panda.gtisc.gatech.edu/malrec/


This system processes executables and runs them in PANDA. The basic workflow takes samples from queue/pending, passes them off to the runmal.py, which eventually deposits them in queue/finished. It also writes a stamp in logs/stamps. At this point, The logs are compressed using rrpack.py from PANDA.

I use a fairly low-tech approach to managing this parallel queue that relies on inotifywait and GNU parallel. To detect new samples and run them, I use:

while true; do ls queue/pending/ | parallel -j 4 python scripts/runmal.py conf/malrec.config {/} {%} ; sleep 600 ; done

And to detect when PANDA has finished recording and pack the logs:

inotifywait -q -m -r -e MOVED_TO -e CLOSE_WRITE --format %w%f logs/stamps/ | parallel -u -j 4 scripts/pack.sh logs/rr/{/}

Most of the configuration lives in malrec.config, but I haven't been great about making sure everything references that, so there are quite a few absolute paths hanging around in various scripts. Beware!

Once per day, I also generate movies from the replays, and check the sample IDs with VirusTotal. These periodic tasks are managed by cron. My crontab looks like:

30 22 * * * /home/brendan/malrec/scripts/fillqueue.sh
00,10,20,30,40,50 * * * * /home/brendan/malrec/scripts/genindex.sh
00 4 * * * /home/brendan/malrec/scripts/vtlookup.py /home/brendan/malrec/conf/malrec.config
00 4 * * * /home/brendan/malrec/scripts/movies.sh

Samples become available once per day. The genindex.sh just builds the (very ugly) web page every 10 minutes.

GUI Analysis

In order for the GUI analysis and actuation to work, you will need to use this branch of PANDA:


And then symlink the pmemaddressspace.py script into Volatility's volatility/plugins/addrspaces subdirectory.

Note that you will get poor results unless you disable mouse acceleration in the guest VMs.


This is not intended to work for anyone else out of the box, just to provide a starting point. You will undoubtedly have to make heavy local modifications. That said, if you want to make it more general and contribute improvements back, please feel free!