Advice Request Microsoft Project Freta - Cloud-based Malware Detection

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Staff Member
Jan 8, 2011
Microsoft Research Blog post

What You Need To Know:
  • Microsoft recently announced Project Freta, which detects malware.
  • Project Freta is a free tool that uses a new approach to detecting malware.
  • The project utilizes thousands of images of virtual Linux machines.
  • The project currently supports Linux, but Windows is on Microsoft's roadmap.
Source(1): Microsoft's Project Freta brings cloud-based malware detection to Linux

At its inception, Freta supports over 4,000 kernel versions.

“Project Freta was designed and built with survivor bias at its core. It is a security project designed from first principles to drive the cost of sensor evasion as high as possible and, in many cases, render evasion technically infeasible,” continues the blog post.

Project Freta is based on four sensing tenets, which require no program can:

  1. Detect a sensor is present before it installs itself in the environment,
  2. Hide from the sensor as long as the program is within the monitoring view of the sensor
  3. Burn itself, as in erasing or modifying itself upon detecting a sensor is present
  4. Sabotage the sensor so that it cannot acquire the malicious program
If these four properties can be guaranteed in infrastructure, even the stealthiest of malware can be spotted and stopped.

This effort aims to make it extremely difficult and economically unfeasible for highly skilled malware creators to produce stealthy, undetectable strands, therefore halting cyberattacks on the cloud infrastructure.
Source(2): First look: Microsoft's Project Freta detects Linux malware for free

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