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Re: PocketPC exploitation
From: "Jose Morales" <mrjoemango2 () hotmail com>
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 11:16:50 -0400

Ratter, thank you for your comments, everything you say is true. Now I think that real life experience has taught us that it is better to protect from possible future attacks similar to those seen in the past and avoid an outbreak then to wait for a major vx outbreak to react and protect from it happening a second time.

Nobody wants another nimda, codered, slammer, welchia, mydoom and bagle plus others that have cost billions in losses and productivity time plus unknown numbers of computers rendered useless and in need of repair. the technology exists to protect pocket pc's againts the types of viruses seen in the desktop world it should be incorportated into current solutions as a preemptive guard against possible future attacks. Your logic is good until a major virus outbreak occurs on PPC and people start to complain "why wasnt I proctected" there is no answer for it. In the hacker world some significant articles have already come out no PPC vulnerabilities it is only a matter of time before a major virus strike hits, the time to give better protection for PPC is now and not after an outbreak.

As for overhead on PPC placed by better antivirus solutions, this will very soon go away, handhelds keep being releases with bigger hard drives (upto 4 gigabytes last time i hear) more RAM more CPU power and overall better performance, clearly the bottlenecks of current embedded system security will very soon dissipate and in its current state they can handle stronger AV solutions that was is currently out there.

im sure airscanner.com, norton, kaspersky avast and the others can improve their products now given current ppc and help prevent possible major vx outbreaks in the future.

proactive defense is better than reactive defense that is the best real life experience we have learned from the past to help prepare for the future.

Yours in Success,


Jose Andre Morales
Computer Specialist
Master of Science in Computer Science, FIU 2004


   From: Ratter <ratter () atlas cz>
Reply-To: Ratter <ratter () atlas cz>
To: Jose Morales <jose () onestopearth com>
CC: vuln-dev () securityfocus com, bugtraq () securityfocus com
Subject: Re: PocketPC exploitation
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 14:34:31 +0200

JM> I would like to contribute to the list a paper i just had published that
JM> discusses the vulnerabilities of current virus detectors for pocket pc's, it JM> is scary to think that such simplistic detectors are the current state of JM> the art for such powerfull devices, it leads one to think that the lessons JM> of the past have not been learned, feedback on the paper is appreciated and
JM> welcomed, i hope it helps those interested in this area of research feel
JM> free to contact me.
OK, here's the feedback. You're creating unnecessary havoc. There are
AFAIK two or three pocket PC viruses/trojans. One is done by me,
second is probably a modification of mine and third is a trojan done
by some russian writer. All are very easy nonencrypted code, so what
else than a simplistic detector you would like to have? Yes, there
exists polymorfic generator written by Vecna/29A (published in last
29A magazine) and a Dust version that uses it. But this virus is on my
disk only, it will probably never be published as I'm retired.

So the question stands - for what you want to add detection for
encrypted/polymorfic/epo/metamorfic/whatever viruses to PPC detectors,
when there is _no_ virus, that uses them? Can you see the overhead it
would cause? The antivirus size increase? The time increase spent on
detection? This really is ridiculous.

When the time comes (and it probably will come), adding advanced
detection techniques to given PPC antiviruses is a matter of very
little time, because as you say all of these techniques are relatively
well elaborated in the PC world. When there will be people out there
that will take every ITW virus/worm and modify by few bytes, then the
time comes to add more advanced scanning techniques. Now it's simply
waste of resources on both sides - antivirus companies and _mainly_
user's devices.

You have very nice equations in the paper, very academic approach, but
well, the paper lacks one thing. Real life experience.

Best regards,

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