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Microsoft Secure

Invisible resource thieves: The increasing threat of cryptocurrency miners

The surge in Bitcoin prices has driven widescale interest in cryptocurrencies. While the future of digital currencies is uncertain, they are shaking up the cybersecurity landscape as they continue to influence the intent and nature of attacks. Cybercriminals gave cryptocurrencies a bad name when ransomware started instructing victims to pay ransom in the form of...

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Behavior monitoring combined with machine learning spoils a massive Dofoil coin mining campaign

Update: Further analysis of this campaign points to a poisoned update for a peer-to-peer (P2P) application. For more information, read Poisoned peer-to-peer app kicked off Dofoil coin miner outbreak. Just before noon on March 6 (PST), Windows Defender Antivirus blocked more than 80,000 instances of several sophisticated trojans that exhibited advanced cross-process injection techniques, persistence...

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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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Microsoft Contact: Stephen Smith (stepsmit)
Agency: Cinco Design
Agency Contact: Kate Callahan (
Photographer: Amy Sacka (
Shoot month: March 2017
Location: Portland, OR
Business: LinkedIn Datacenter

Windows Defender ATP machine learning and AMSI: Unearthing script-based attacks that ‘live off the land’

Scripts are becoming the weapon of choice of sophisticated activity groups responsible for targeted attacks as well as malware authors who indiscriminately deploy commodity threats. Scripting engines such as JavaScript, VBScript, and PowerShell offer tremendous benefits to attackers. They run through legitimate processes and are perfect tools for “living off the land”—staying away from the...

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#AVGater vulnerability does not affect Windows Defender Antivirus, MSE, or SCEP

On November 10, 2017, a vulnerability called #AVGater was discovered affecting some antivirus products. The vulnerability requires a non-administrator-level account to perform a restore of a quarantined file. Windows Defender Antivirus and other Microsoft antimalware products, including System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) and Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), are not affected by this vulnerability. This vulnerability...

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