Data Infrastructure Building Blocks for ISI. A Project of the University of Arizona (NSF #ACI-1443019), Drexel University,

University of Virginia, University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Utah

Because zip files can be automatically opened by an OS, storing malware directly inside a zip file is not advisable. For safe handling of malware, malware should be stored inside another container such as a tar.gz file. TAR.GZ files require additional tools on OS excepting some Linux. Best practice is to store malware inside multiple containers such that you need to extract at least one extra layer before arriving at any possible malware.

Disclaimers that datasets contain malware should be prominent both on the site where the dataset is downloaded and in the documentation associated with the dataset.

We are looking into ways of requiring an additional step before download of malware containing datasets, such as a popup or intermediary page with additional warnings. We are also considering the use of a standard password required to extract datasets containing malware. The container with the password would be stored along with documentation and password files, such that it would be hard to separate the password from the container needing it. If approved, this will be implemented during the migration to DSpace.

Malware should be handled inside a disposable VM. Each dataset containing malware includes recommendations for handling the malware during research. The PhishMonger platform is a VM that provides a safe space within which to work with malware containing files. Once the PhishMonger platform is released, links to the platform will be incorporated into all malware containing collections.

DIBBs-ISI Malware Handling Protocol


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  • DIBBs-ISI Malware Handling Protocol

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Intelligence and Security Informatics Data Sets

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