Abuse.ch Launches Free Malware Repository

A newly launched service from abuse.ch aims to make it easy for the community to share known malware samples and access additional intelligence on them. 

Called MalwareBazaar, the service is provided for free for both commercial and non-commercial usage, and only collects known malware samples, which are then shared with the community. Only vetted malware samples are accepted, but not adware or potentially unwanted applications (PUA/PUP).

Using the service, anyone can download as many malware samples as they like, search for samples by malware family name, fuzzy hashing and tags, and access additional information about malware samples distributed via email by using spamtrap data. 

An extensive API for automation is also provided, along with support for the export of hashes, and daily malware batches available for download. 

The need for MalwareBazaar, the founder says, emerged from the fact that publicly available open source intelligence (OSINT), despite being a great resource for threat intelligence, doesn’t always allow researchers to also download referenced malware samples to perform their own analysis. 

“You need to register on gazillion different online anti-virus scanning engines, sandboxes or malware databases in order to finally obtain the malware sample you need for your analysis,” abuse.ch notes. 

Furthermore, researchers often find that some of the available platforms come with restrictions regarding the number of malware samples one can download daily, while others are available for paying users only. 

“This was the motivation for launching MalwareBazaar: A malware corpus where IT-security researchers can easily share malware samples with the community without hitting download restrictions all the time or having to pay expensive subscription fees,” abuse.ch explains. 

Unlike VirusTotal, MalwareBazaar does not feature a multi anti-virus scanner, but allows anyone to download submitted samples, for free (VirusTotal makes submitted files available to paying customers only). 

Furthermore, with only one third of the files uploaded to VirusTotal detected by at least one AV-engine, the remaining two thirds are likely benign files. MalwareBazaar, on the other hand, does not accept benign files. 

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Related: Chronicle Unveils VirusTotal Enterprise

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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