Speeding up the Clock for Malware Analysis With Accelerify

Sometimes malware doesn’t perform “interesting” actions until some time has passed, stretching out its activities over hours or days. This approach tricks some automated analysis tools and helps evade detection. Cylance’s free tool Accelerify helps analysts in such situations by accelerating the lab system’s clock.

Accelerify modifies the system’s time at the rate specified by the analyst. For instance, in the video attached to this article, I directed the tool to modify the clock every second, advancing it by 300 seconds. This had the effect of accelerating the time by the factor of 300.

The “-i” parameter sets the interval, in seconds, between adjusting the time. I used 1; the default is 10. The “-a” parameter specifies the number of seconds by which to advance the clock. I used 300; the default is 3600.

You can use Accelerify in conjunction with behavioral monitoring tools to explore situations where the specimen’s actions are triggered by the passage of time or by specific date and time values. In such scenarios, you could activate the monitoring tools, launch Accelerify, infect the laboratory system and see what develops.

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About the Author

Lenny Zeltser is a seasoned business and technology leader with extensive information security experience. He presently oversees the financial success and expansion of infosec services and SaaS products at NCR. He also trains incident response and digital forensics professionals at SANS Institute. Lenny frequently speaks at industry events, 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.

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