Introducing MalwareBazaar

Published on 17th March 2020, 12:29:31 UTC

Almost two years ago, I've launched URLhaus with the goal of collecting malware distribution sites. With more than 300,000 malware distribution sites tracked, the project still is a great success. However, over the past weeks, I've been focusing my efforts on a new project. And here' it is: MalwareBazaar!

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What is MalwareBazaar?

MalwareBazaar collects known malicious malware sample, enriches them with additional intelligence and provides them back to the community - for free! Here are just some of the features of MalwareBazaar:

  • Completely community driven and 100% free for commercial and non-commercial usage
  • Vetted malware samples only. No benign files. No Adware/PUP/PUA
  • Download as many malware samples you like
  • Extensive API for automation
  • Export of hashes
  • Daily malware batches avilable for download
  • Additional context about malware samples distributed via email by using spamtrap data
  • Search for samples by malware family name, fuzzy hashing (like TLSH, imphash, etc) and tags

Why MalwareBazaar?

As many IT-security researchers, I'm heavily using public available information (OSINT) for hunting down new cyber threats. OSINT is a great resource for this threat intelligence! However, I often get confronted with a simple but severe problem: malware samples referenced in blog posts, whitepaper or mentioned on social media like Twitter are usually not easily available. 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. And it is getting worse: Some of these platforms come with download restrictions (you can only download a specific number of malware samples per day), some other platforms are available for paying users only. This is a huge pain for me in my daily work, and I'm sure for many other IT-security researchers out there too.

I've therefore asked myself: why do I have to register on 35457 different platforms? And why should I pay for downloading malware samples?

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.

What's the difference to VirusTotal?

VirusTotal is a great resource for threat intel and hunting malware. Unlike MalwareBazaar, VirusTotal is also a multi anti-virus scanner that allows you to asses whether a certain file is malicious or benign. However, VirusTotal has a handful limitation:

  • While you can upload as many files to VirusTotal as you want, downloading malware samples from VirusTotal is restricted to paying users only
  • As of March 2020, only 1/3 of all uploaded files are detected by at least one AV-endinge (VirusTotal Statistics). So it appears that 2/3 of all uploaded samples are benign

MalwareBazaar follows a different approach:

  • MalwareBazaar only tracks malware samples. No Adware (PUA/PUP). No benign files
  • MalwareBazaar is not a multi antivirus scanning engine
  • You can upload and download as many malware samples as you want
  • It's completely free!

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