REMnux is a lightweight Linux distribution for assisting malware analysts with reverse-engineering malicious software. The distribution is based on Ubuntu and is maintained by Lenny Zeltser.
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REMnux can also be used for emulating network services within an isolated lab environment when performing behavioral malware analysis. As part of this process, the analyst typically infects another laboratory system with the malware sample and redirects the connections to the REMnux system listening on the appropriate ports.
You can learn the malware analysis techniques that make use of the tools installed and pre-configured on REMnux by taking the Reverse-Engineering Malware at SANS Institute.
REMnux focuses on the most practical freely-available malware analysis tools that run on Linux. If you are looking for a more full-featured distribution that incorporates a broader range of digital forensic analysis utilities, take a look at SANS Investigative Forensic Toolkit (SIFT) Workstation.
REMnux has been updated to version 5 in May 2014. Version 1 of this distro came out in 2010.
You can download the REMnux distribution as a virtual appliance archive and as an ISO image of a Live CD:
Prior to using the REMnux virtual appliance, you'll need to obtain virtualization software such as VMware Player, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion and VirtualBox. If you encounter problems installing REMnux, please see the tips, issues, errata and workarounds outlined in REMnux Version 5 Installation Notes document.
To install the REMnux virtual appliance, first download remnux-5.0-ovf-public.ova. This file Open Virtualization Format (OVF/OVA) and is compatible with many virtualization tools.
Open the downloaded file with your virtualization tool and import it to create the virtual machine out of it. For additional details, see instructions for installing the REMnux virtual appliance in the OVF/OVA format.
If using the OVF/OVA virtual appliance with VMware, you can optionally install VMware Tools in REMnux to automatically adjust the screen size.
If using VMware, you have the option of getting the virtual appliance using the proprietary VMware format. For this, download remnux-5.0-vm-public.zip instead of the .ova file. The advantage of this version of the appliance is that it includes pre-installed VMware Tools.
Extract the downloaded .zip file's contents into a dedicated folder and open the REMnuxV5.vmx file with VMware Player, Workstation or Fusion. If VMware asks you whether the virtual machine was moved or copied, select "I copied it."
If using VMware ESX, you can use the VMware vCenter Converter tool to convert the VMware virtual appliance to the ESX format. You can convert the VMware virtual appliance into the format compatible with Hyper-V. The free StarWind V2V Converter offers a convenient way to accomplish this.
The REMnux virtual appliance is configured to use the "host only" network, isolating the REMnux instance from the physical network. To connect REMnux to the network, for instance, to provide it with Internet access, change the settings of the virtual appliance to the appropriate network, such as "NAT" then issue the "renew-dhcp" command in REMnux.
REMnux includes numerous free tools useful for examining malicious software. These utilities are set up and tested to make it easier for you to perform malware analysis tasks without needing to figure out how to install them.The majority of these tools are listed below.
To get started with REMnux, tune into the recorded webcast Malware Analysis Essentials Using REMnux. For a follow-up and an overview of additional tools, take a look at the What's New in REMnux v4 webcast.
Thank you to the developers of Linux, Ubuntu, GNU, network monitoring, malware analysis, memory forensics and other tools installed on REMnux for their contributions to the community. Thank you to the individuals who provided feedback, instructions and recommendations for improving the REMnux distribution.
Authored by Lenny Zeltser. Lenny is a business and tech leader with extensive experience in information technology and security. His areas of expertise include incident response, cloud services and product management. Lenny focuses on safeguarding customers' IT operations at NCR Corporation. He also teaches digital forensics and anti-malware courses at SANS Institute. Lenny frequently speaks at conferences, writes articles and has co-authored books. He has earned the prestigious GIAC Security Expert designation, has an MBA from MIT Sloan and a Computer Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania. You can follow Lenny on Twitter, read his blog and circle him on Google+.
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