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SXSW Interactive 2015

Malware in the Wild - Evolving to Evade Detection

Advanced malware is behind many headline-grabbing cyber-attacks, and untold others. It has evolved to elude detection by sensing its environment and - if anti-malware technology is detected - performing evasive maneuvers. Once it gains entry, it can lay dormant until the creator executes an attack. Malware has also developed symbiotic relationships, with one type facilitating distribution of another type that exploits the compromised system (for example, GoZeus and Cryptolocker).

Large organizations are responding with sophisticated security tools and threat response teams. In a neverending digital arms race, cybercriminals have responded in turn by creating malware that can now detect detection and essentially act normal, go on loop or abort the mission if it’s about to be caught by a scanner.

This presentation will reveal new insights into the evolution of advanced malware based on billions of files and URLs scanned in the wild and analyzed over a time period of four years.

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  1. What are some of the key characteristics of advanced malware behaviors, techniques and payloads?
  2. How has malware evolved in the past four years, and how has it stayed the same?
  3. How have security technologies and techniques changed in the past four years to address the evolution of advanced malware?
  4. Who can stop the onslaught of cyber-attacks, and how?
  5. Will advanced malware become detection-proof and kill the Internet as we know it?


  • Engin Kirda, Co-founder and chief architect, Lastline


Jeannie Hornung, Head of corporate communications, Lastline

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Privacy and Security
  • Level: Advanced
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