A New Concept Might Take Reverse-Engineering to the Next Level

b2ap3_thumbnail_software_development_400.jpgEven the most innocent Internet user can fall victim to the stray hacking attack, and it’s all thanks to the manner in which malware reverse-engineers software. This process is how a hacker finds vulnerabilities in software. However, a new security concept might be able to protect software from the reverse-engineering method used by hackers.

Just like how malware is designed to reverse-engineer software to find flaws, antivirus and anti-malware software is designed to perform the same feat on viruses and malware. It looks for flaws in its code that can be exploited to remove it. Now, what would happen if you prevented malware from using this technique to find exploits in the first place? This is what security researcher, Jacob Torrey, is wondering. He presented his idea for a Hardened Anti-Reverse Engineering System (HARES) at the Singapore SyScan conference this March.

The idea behind HARES is that it encrypts the software’s code until the processor absolutely needs to execute it. This means that the software can’t be decoded until it’s being executed, which makes it vastly more difficult for hackers to reverse-engineer the software. According to WIRED magazine:

The result is a tough-to-crack protection from any hacker who would pirate the software, suss out security flaws that could compromise users, and even in some cases understand its basic functions.

Unfortunately, as most developers of new technology know, there are always ways to turn something that can benefit the online community into a dangerous tool. HARES isn’t meant to create unencryptable malware, but you can bet that hackers will still attempt to use it to their benefit somehow. This puts unsuspecting systems at risk of hacking attacks, and if the technique were to become mainstream in the hacking community, it could lead to even more chaos.

HARES obviously isn’t perfect, and it can be tricked through a number of different methods. When an application uses some type of encryption protocol, the decryption key needs to be installed in the computer’s CPU so the program is capable of encrypting it when necessary. A hacker that’s been around the block a time or two can potentially intercept this key while it’s in transit. This can let them decrypt the application and let them see the program’s commands, which allows them to counteract the protocol.

One other method that hackers might use is by taking advantage of debugging features found within some hardware. This lets cybercriminals investigate commands made between the chip and the motherboard. The tools required for this kind of procedure are ridiculously expensive, so the average hacker probably won’t be able to afford them; therefore, it’s more logical to assume that this will see use on a national level.

As always, it’s best to make sure you’re protected from the latest security threats. A Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution from White Mountain IT Services is the best bet business’s have to ensure maximum network security. The UTM is a comprehensive solution complete with firewall, antivirus, spam blocking, and content filtering functions. This helps keep your network air-tight while online. Give White Mountain IT Services a call at 603-889-0800 to find out more about this solution.

Related Articles

  • Tip of the Week: How to Spot a Scam What would you do if you sat down at your desk one morning, coffee still kicking in, to discover a pop-up message on your computer announcing that Microsoft has detected a fatal issue with your workstation, and if they aren’t allowed to remote in and fix it, the entire network could be at risk? Woul...
  • Is It Safe to Have Your Browser Remember Your Passwords? Let’s be honest - not all of us have the best memories. This makes the ability for many browsers to remember our passwords seem like a godsend. However, is this capability actually a good thing for your cybersecurity? The answer may not surprise you. Nope! While yes, the fact that we no longer ha...
  • Tip of the Week: Awareness Is Important When Surfing the Web We all love the Internet. We all use it almost every day. For this week’s tip, we’ll review a few ways to help keep yourself from getting in trouble while browsing. Sacrificing Security for ConvenienceFor starters, most of the threats to be found online are of the sort that can be avoided somewha...
  • Could You Spot a Social Engineering Attack? As invaluable as the security solutions that protect a network are, they can be effectively rendered useless if a cybercriminal is skilled in social engineering. Social engineering is the practice of using manipulation to access protected resources, as we will review later. If your business and its ...
  • Here’s How Companies Struggle with IT Security No business can be successful if it’s constantly suffering from data breaches. Therefore, you should take measures to mitigate the issues caused by these threats before they present themselves. Here are four of the biggest issues your business could face in the field of network security. Password...
  • Help! My Staff Hates My Company’s IT! Fellow business owners, do you ever feel like you need to walk around on eggshells when it comes time to implement a new process or policy with your employees? Does it seem like your staff fights back tooth and nail when there is any technology change or IT restriction? You aren’t alone. More oft...
With the surge in the number of small and medium businesses that have fallen prey to malware and cyber criminals, there is a lot of focus of what an organization can do to prevent being a victim and how the company should handle themselves after an attack. There is another key factor to preventing cyber criminals from penetrating into your network:...

- Onsite Service Coverage Area -

Onsite Computer Support Services are available to businesses within 100 miles of Nashua New Hampshire. We have excellent onsite coverage from Concord NH, south through Manchester NH and then down into Boston. From Northern and Central Mass we cover from Worcester, east to the North Shore, including the Salem and Portsmouth NH area.



White Mountain IT Services
33 Main Street Suite 302
Nashua, New Hampshire 03064


 padlock1  Cyber Security Toolkit

cloud desktop2 Cloud Desktop Login

Open Positions