Friday 4 September 2015

MALHEUR - Automatic Analysis of Malware Behavior

MALHEUR - Automatic Analysis of Malware Behavior

Malheur is a tool for the automatic analysis of malware behavior (program behavior recorded from malicious software in a sandbox environment). It has been designed to support the regular analysis of malicious software and the development of detection and defense measures.

Malheur allows for identifying novel classes of malware with similar behavior and assigning unknown malware to discovered classes. It supports four basic actions for analysis which can be applied to reports of recorded behavior:

1. Extraction of prototypes: From a given set of reports, malheur identifies a subset of prototypes representative for the full data set. The prototypes provide a quick overview of recorded behavior and can be used to guide manual inspection.

2. Clustering of behavior: Malheur automatically identifies groups (clusters) of reports containing similar behavior. Clustering allows for discovering novel classes of malware and provides the basis for crafting specific detection and defense mechanisms, such as anti-virus signatures.

3. Classification of behavior: Based on a set of previously clustered reports, malheur is able to assign unknown behavior to known groups of malware. Classification enables identifying novel and unknown variants of malware and can be used to filter program behavior prior to manual inspection.

4. Incremental analysis: Malheur can be applied incrementally for analysis of large data sets. By processing reports in chunks, the run-time as well as memory requirements can be significantly reduced. This renders long-term application of malheur feasible, for example for daily analysis of incoming malware programs.

A detailed description of these techniques as well as technical background on analysis of malicious software is provided in the following articles:

  • "Automatic Analysis of Malware Behavior using Machine Learning." Konrad Rieck, Philipp Trinius, Carsten Willems, and Thorsten Holz Journal of Computer Security (JCS), 19 (4) 639-668, 2011.
  • "A Malware Instruction Set for Behavior-Based Analysis." Philipp Trinius, Carsten Willems, Thorsten Holz, and Konrad Rieck Technical report TR-2009-07, University of Mannheim, 2009

  • libconfig >= 1.4,
  • libarchive >= 2.70,

Debian & Ubuntu Linux

The following packages need to be installed for compiling Malheur on Debian and Ubuntu Linux


For bootstrapping Malheur from the GIT repository or manipulating the automake/autoconf configuration, the following additional packages are necessary.

Mac OS X

For compiling Malheur on Mac OS X a working installation of Xcode is required including gcc. Additionally, the following packages need to be installed via Homebrew

libarchive (from homebrew-alt)


For compiling Malheur on OpenBSD the following packages are required. Note that you need to use gmake instead of make for building Malheur.


For bootstrapping Malheur from the GIT repository, the following packages need be additionally installed


Compilation & Installation

From GIT repository first run

$ ./bootstrap

From tarball run

$ ./configure [options]
$ make
$ make check
$ make install

Options for configure

--prefix=PATH           Set directory prefix for installation

By default Malheur is installed into /usr/local. If you prefer a different location, use this option to select an installation directory.

This program 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. This program is distributed without any warranty. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

Copyright (c) 2009-2015 Konrad Rieck ([email protected]) University of Goettingen, Berlin Institute of Technology



Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Toggle Footer