Metamorphic Virus Detection in Portable Executables Using Opcodes Statistical Feature

Babak Bashari Rad, Maslin Masrom


Metamorphic viruses  engage different mutation techniques to escape from string signature based scanning. They try to change their code in new offspring so that the variants appear non-similar and have no common sequences of string as signature. However, all versions of a metamorphic virus have similar task and performance. This obfuscation process helps to keep them safe from the string based signature detection. In this study, we make use of instructions statistical features to compare the similarity of two hosted files probably occupied by two mutated forms of a specific metamorphic virus. The introduced solution in this paper is relied on static analysis and employs the frequency histogram of machine opcodes in different instances of obfuscated viruses. We use Minkowski-form histogram distance measurements in order to check the likeness of portable executables (PE). The purpose of this research is to  present an idea that for  a number of special  obfuscation approaches the presented solution can be  used to identify morphed copies of a file. Thus, it can be applied by antivirus scanner to recognize different versions of a metamorphic virus.


Metamorphic Virus; Obfuscation Techniques; Virus Detection; Opcode Frequency Histogram

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Published by INSIGHT - Indonesian Society for Knowledge and Human Development