Computer Network Security

In the paper [330] several metamorphic malware generators are tested. Curiously, all but one of the generators fail to produce any significant degree of metamorphism. Viruses from each of these weak metamorphic generators are easily detected using standard signature detection techniques. However, one metamorphic generator, known as NGVCK, is shown to produce highly metamorphic viruses, and these successfully evade signature detection by commercial virus scanners. Finally, the authors show that, in spite of the high degree of metamorphism, NGVCK viruses are relatively easy to detect using machine learning techniques—specifically, hidden Markov models [278].

a. These results tend to indicate that the hacker community has, with rare exception, failed to produce highly metamorphic malware. Why do you suppose this is the case?

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b. It might seem somewhat surprising that the highly metamorphic NGVCK viruses can be detected. Provide a plausible explanation as to why these viruses can be detected.

c. Is it possible to produce undetectable metamorphic viruses? If so, how? If not, why not?

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