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Microsoft Secure

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Now you see me: Exposing fileless malware

Attackers are determined to circumvent security defenses using increasingly sophisticated techniques. Fileless malware boosts the stealth and effectiveness of an attack, and two of last year’s major ransomware outbreaks (Petya and WannaCry) used fileless techniques as part of their kill chains. The idea behind fileless malware is simple: If tools already exist on a device...

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A worthy upgrade: Next-gen security on Windows 10 proves resilient against ransomware outbreaks in 2017

Adopting reliable attack methods and techniques borrowed from more evolved threat types, ransomware attained new levels of reach and damage in 2017. The following trends characterize the ransomware narrative in the past year: Three global outbreaks showed the force of ransomware in making real-world impact, affecting corporate networks and bringing down critical services like hospitals,...

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Detonating a bad rabbit: Windows Defender Antivirus and layered machine learning defenses

Windows Defender Antivirus uses a layered approach to protection: tiers of advanced automation and machine learning models evaluate files in order to reach a verdict on suspected malware. While Windows Defender AV detects a vast majority of new malware files at first sight, we always strive to further close the gap between malware release and...

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Microsoft teams up with law enforcement and other partners to disrupt Gamarue (Andromeda)

Today, with help from Microsoft security researchers, law enforcement agencies around the globe, in cooperation with Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU), announced the disruption of Gamarue, a widely distributed malware that has been used in networks of infected computers collectively called the Andromeda botnet. The disruption is the culmination of a journey that started in...

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Exploring the crypt: Analysis of the WannaCrypt ransomware SMB exploit propagation

On May 12, there was a major outbreak of WannaCrypt ransomware. WannaCrypt directly borrowed exploit code from the ETERNALBLUE exploit and the DoublePulsar backdoor module leaked in April by a group calling itself Shadow Brokers. The trend towards increasingly sophisticated malware behavior, highlighted by the use of exploits and other attack vectors, makes older platforms...

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Windows 10 platform resilience against the Petya ransomware attack

The trend towards increasingly sophisticated malware behavior, highlighted by the use of exploits and other attack vectors, makes older platforms so much more susceptible to ransomware attacks. From June to November 2017, Windows 7 devices were 3.4 times more likely to encounter ransomware compared to Windows 10 devices. Read our latest report: A worthy upgrade:...

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Analysis of the Shadow Brokers release and mitigation with Windows 10 virtualization-based security

On April 14, a group calling themselves the Shadow Brokers caught the attention of the security community by releasing a set of weaponized exploits. Shortly thereafter, one of these exploits was used to create wormable malware that we now know as WannaCrypt, which targeted a large number of out-of-date systems and held encrypted files for...

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Double-click me not: Malicious proxy settings in OLE Embedded Script

Attackers have been using social engineering to avoid the increasing costs of exploitation due to the significant hardening and exploit mitigations investments in Windows. Tricking a user into running a malicious file or malware can be cheaper for an attacker than building an exploit which works on Windows 10. In our previous blog, Where’s the...

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