Monday, March 9, 2009


Years ago I played football and I can recall the day when my coach grabbed me before the game and gave me a pair of receiver gloves. He said "Here, now your hands are like flypaper." If you've never worn receiver gloves before I can tell you they have a sticky substance on the palms and fingers when the gloves are new. Not a ton, but enough to make them flypaper.

While testing HBGary's Responder Pro product, Rich Cummings turned me on to a secondary product in their lineup. It's called flypaper. It's currently a free download and I've got to tell you it's been a great experience using it. The process is simple.

Load a virtual machine from a snapshot.
Run flypaper.
Execute the malware or binary of your choice.
Suspend the virtual machine.
Examine the .vmem file.
Unpause the virtual machine.
Stop flypaper.
Extract the flypaper log file - which happens to log changes to the system. (You could extract the file from the .vmdk if you were inclined of course.)

A quick look at how simple the flypaper interface is:

You're probably saying..uhh I do that anyways. Ahh but flypaper allows you to have great control over what can happen. For instance, you can block all network traffic to and from the virtual machine. You can also prevent processes from exiting. Why is this important? Well friends, have you ever tried to reverse engineer something that's packed with themida or armadillo? These are two of the most advanced packers out there and they are pretty useless when flypaper is involved. How about a multistage packed binary? When a program executes and loads in to memory, it's unpacked. Flypaper keeps it that way and allows you, the examiner an opportunity to look at a completely naked version of the malware. How's that for a time saver? How about that's flippin sweet? Is it 100% effective? No it's not, but it gives us a chance to examine malware without a lot of the pains involved with reverse engineering packed malware. And if you were to do the memory dumping with FastDump or FD pro, you could get a copy of the page file for complete analysis of memory. With Responder and Responder pro in the mix and the ability to analyze the pagefile and memory dump, HBgary is building an impressive suite.