Mihai Neagu

Senior Proactive Detection Researcher at Bitdefender

Reverse engineering since 99, and still loving it! One of the first things I learned is that listening to music and breaking into SoftIce don’t go along very well.

I became a proud malware researcher at Bitdefender in 2002, and later I took part in building one of their first cloud-based detection technology.

Now I’m doing exploit research. I like seeing stuff happening at run-time, and exploits are pure magic.
In the past I enjoyed hacking devices, reversing protocols and decrypting data. Also, I’m into lomo film photography.

Browser instrumentation for exploit analysis

Advanced browser exploits and their payload delivery are happening in multiple different stages.
In a common case, the initial web page/ad executes scripts decrypting other scripts, performing one or more redirections to an exploit kit landing page.

This page delivers the first stage component, which decrypts and loads a second stage component, which in turn performs the actual browser exploit.

The intermediate stages happen in memory, in an effort to avoid network traffic and on-access detection of the exploitation process.

By using browser instrumentation, we are able to dump and analyze these intermediate stages as they reside in memory at the moment of exploitation.

This is done by hooking key browser internal functions and analyzing objects as they appear in memory.

A demo will be presented on a real life scenario where a web page leads to an exploit kit that serves a multi-stage exploit and finally malware is downloaded and executed.

Presentation @DefCamp 2016