How to Analyze Malware and Benign Windows PE Files Using Cuckoo Sandbox
Cuckoo Sandbox is a popular open-source tool for dynamic malware analysis. It allows you to run suspicious files in an isolated virtual environment and observe their behavior, such as network traffic, file system changes, registry modifications, and API calls. Cuckoo Sandbox can also generate detailed reports in various formats, such as JSON, HTML, PDF, and XML.
In this article, we will show you how to use Cuckoo Sandbox to analyze malware and benign Windows PE files. Windows PE files are executable files that run on Windows platforms, such as .exe and .dll files. We will use a dataset that contains cuckoo sandbox reports of 3103 malicious Windows PE files and 1890 benign software. The malware samples were acquired from Malshare, and the benign files were scraped from different websites like Portable Freeware. The sandbox used to analyze the samples was running a Windows 7 VM with a clean snapshot at each sample analysis.
Step 1: Install Cuckoo Sandbox
To install Cuckoo Sandbox, you will need a host machine that runs Linux or macOS, and a guest machine that runs Windows. You will also need to install some dependencies, such as Python, MongoDB, VirtualBox, and tcpdump. You can follow the official documentation for detailed instructions on how to install Cuckoo Sandbox on your host machine: https://cuckoo.sh/docs/installation/host/requirements.html
Once you have installed Cuckoo Sandbox on your host machine, you will need to create a virtual machine that runs Windows 7. You can use VirtualBox or any other virtualization software that supports Cuckoo Sandbox. You will also need to install some software on your guest machine, such as Python, Pillow, Agent.py, and disable some security features. You can follow the official documentation for detailed instructions on how to configure your guest machine: https://cuckoo.sh/docs/installation/guest/index.html
Step 2: Run Cuckoo Sandbox
To run Cuckoo Sandbox, you will need to start three processes on your host machine: cuckoo, cuckoo web, and cuckoo api. You can use the following commands to start them:
cuckoo web runserver
The first command will start the main cuckoo process that interacts with the virtual machine and analyzes the samples. The second command will start the web interface that allows you to submit samples and view reports. The third command will start the REST API that allows you to programmatically interact with cuckoo.
You can access the web interface by opening your browser and visiting http://localhost:8000. You can access the API by visiting http://localhost:8090.
Step 3: Submit Samples
To submit samples to cuckoo, you can use either the web interface or the API. In this article, we will use the web interface for simplicity. To submit a sample using the web interface, you need to click on the \"Submit\" button on the top right corner of the page. You will see a form where you can upload your sample file or enter a URL. You can also specify some options, such as analysis package, machine name, timeout, priority, tags, options, and custom fields.
For example, if you want to analyze a malicious Windows PE file called \"malware.exe\", you can upload it from your local machine and select \"windows\" as the analysis package. You can also enter some tags or options to customize your analysis. For example, you can enter \"free=yes\" as an option to enable free mode, which allows cuckoo to perform additional actions after the malware execution.
After submitting your sample, you will see a confirmation message with a task ID. You can click on the task ID to view the status of your analysis. You ec8f644aee