Carlos Rubio Ricote

Carlos Rubio Ricote is a malware researcher at Threatray, where he is mainly responsible for reverse engineering malware to automate the detection process of new threats. In addition to researching new applications for code reuse technology that can help in different areas such as threat hunting, incident response, tracking the evolution of malware families, among others. He previously worked on reverse-engineering malware at Blueliv, S21sec Counter Threat Intelligence Unit and in the Panda Security Adaptive Defense team. He has previously spoken at Botconf (2022, 2019), BSides Zürich 2022, Virus Bulletin localhost 2020, as well as many closed-door private conferences.


Using systematic code reuse analysis to create robust YARA rules
Jonas Wagner, Carlos Rubio Ricote

YARA is a commonly used tool to detect and identify malware. There are roughly two types of YARA rules used on binary files: 1) based on metadata and strings and 2) based on code.
There are certain benefits by basing YARA rules on code. Since code reuse is frequent amongst binaries of a malware family, it offers plenty of options to base a YARA rule on. If the chosen code is heavily reused amongst the binaries, then it can result in very robust rules.
This approach comes with certain challenges. A key aspect is being able to find heavily reused code amongst many binaries of a malware family. Unless some sort of automation is at play, this quickly becomes difficult and time-consuming. Once suitable reused code is identified, it needs to be turned into a YARA rule, so that it works even when compiler differences, optimizations or instruction set changes are involved.
In this workshop we will create robust YARA rules for a handful of malware families based on automatically identifying shared code between many binaries of a family.