The rise of computer code working against people’s best interests is a sad fact of life today. There are now many thousands of different forms of malware, or malicious software, out there in the wild! These include computer viruses, Trojan Horses, Worms, ransomware, spyware, scareware and adware. Do you need be scared of them, and are their useful malware courses available to train people in how to effectively deal with them? Well, being scared achieves nothing but taking practical steps to stop or reduce their actual and potential influence is a certainly good idea.
The good news is that there are a great many training modules available today, in response to the inexorable increase in the use of malware, which are focused on different needs. Basic introductory courses are available online, many of which may suit both the public and beginners in the information security world.
Malware can take the form of scripts, executable code, active content or other types of computer software. Antivirus Software and firewall programs are commonly used to protect individual computers from attack by malware. Bear in mind that both black hat hackers and intelligence operatives working for national agencies are active in spreading malicious code nowadays.
Many popular courses in malware training are available, some targeting specific operating systems such as Apple iOS and OSX, MS Windows and Android. Security professionals, such as vulnerability assessment analysts, penetration testers and CHECK team members will all find such training valuable in their day to day work in stopping the hackers. Debugging tools such as X64dbg plus SpiderMonkey and other monitoring tools, usually covered by such courses, will be very useful to information security professionals during their daily tasks.
Other items that people need educating about are files containing malicious code, SQL code injection, evasive malware that attempts to detect if it is being analysed and sandboxes. People from al walks of life may find course content such as this useful in protecting their data from penetration and theft.
Reducing the impact of cyber criminals will ultimately reduce, or at least slow down the rise, in online fraud.
For professionals working in information security refreshing existing skills or learning new ones is best achieved away from their usual place of work in a classroom setting. Formally accredited Malware detection and prevention focused courses will help those hoping to boost their cyber security career opportunities.
To learn about malware detection and mitigation, students will need to first learn about all the different forms of malware. This includes malware detection, how they are spread, how to analyse them and what steps can be taken to suppress them in detail. To do this effectively students will need training based on the most useful tools and techniques available. Staff such as Security Engineers, Incident Responders, Analysts and Pen Testers will all benefit from such material information. There are courses suitable for everyone from the public and Cyber Security trainees right up to Forensic Auditors and senior information and IT Security mangers. These people can all benefit form the right course for them.
1) Operating System focused Malware Courses
Some courses focus on UNIX, Apple iOS and OSX, Android or MS Windows. Many are focused on MS Windows, because apart from being very widely used, MS Windows platforms are also generally agreed to be the most vulnerable to malicious software. There are courses suitable from beginner right up to advanced levels. Course content should provide the student with the skills to examine MS Windows based devices such as PC’s, servers, tablets and computers. Directory structures, indexes, file types, Digital artefact analysis, ShimCache and AmCache registry hive files and the SRUM database should be covered. Course materials should also incorporate.
Suspicious Windows API patterns, Assembly language concepts and reverse engineering code using disassembler and debugger tools will allow students to grasp a malicious programs key components and execution flow. All of this will be achieved by building a laboratory environment where malicious program code can be analysed in detail.
For Apple platforms such as iOS and OSX, malware focused course content ought to include the Apple File System (APFS), Apples Hierarchical File System (HFS+), system logs and log files. An understanding of applications such as Apples iCloud, FaceTime, Time Machine and their ‘secure’ FileVault system will also be of use to information security professionals.
2) Courses covering Malicious websites and documents
In a 24/7 online world, there are numerous websites containing malicious code just waiting to be stumbled upon by unsuspecting web surfers. Courses focused on the examination of malicious web pages and documents, from where hackers can launch their attacks, are quickly becoming more widespread, just like viruses in fact!
The objective of malicious web pages is generally to install malicious executable files on the browser’s computer. Once malicious code is successfully installed, it can start operating against the interests of the individual who’s computer has been infected.
Useful tools of the trade include SpiderMonkey, scdbg, Fiddler, box-js, pdf-parser and rtfdump.py. Other useful tools may also be covered, depending on the training module that you select.