Sep 10, 2017 4597times

CyberSecurity (ISO/IEC 27032) Defence by Malicious Threat Detection (MTD) Services

  • 500,000,000 Personal Data Stolen or Lost in 2015
  • Crypto-ransomware Attacks Grew by 35%

What is Malware?

Malware is software with a malicious intent — it compromises hardware & software in your network by executing tasks designed solely to undermine their functionality. Malware often installs itself unnoticeable on laptops, computers, servers and other devices. The list of at-risk equipment is extensive: tablets, smart phones, phone systems, printers, network switches, webcams and network routers; in fact, any connected device can be infected by malware. Equipment that is prone to malware infection also includes off-premise virtualised hosted services (e.g., cloud services).

Malware is particularly dangerous due to its unpredictability. Like a chameleon, on any given moment malware has the ability to change its functionality (the pay-load) and behaviour. This can be remotely modified on a day-to-day or hour-by-hour basis. The ability of malware to change its payload renders it impossible to use classical digital fingerprint methods or static analysis to determine its functionality and activities. When malware is detected on a device on which it has been active for some time, damage assessment becomes more difficult. To mitigate this risk, malware must be detected and removed as soon as possible.  



Context of INTERNET

  • Data, Information, Social media
  • Web contents
  • Mobile apps
  • Threat agent, i.e. attacker
  • Malicious email/messaging, Malware 


  • Network devices: Router, Firewall, IDS (intrusion detection system), IPS (intrusion prevention system), Packet Switch, WiFi
  • Workstation: PCs, Laptops, Printers 
  • Mobile devices, i.e. mobile phone, tablet, wearable devices
  • People
  • Valuable information assets, i.e. trade secret, personal data, sensitive information
  • Storage, media, i.e. hard-disk, USB
  • BYOD

Facts and Challenges

  • 500,000,000 Personal Data Stolen or Lost in 2015 (Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, 2016/12/04)
  • Crypto-ransomware Attacks Grew by 35% (Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, 2016/12/04)
  • 1,000,000 NEW malicious programs every day  (Trend Micro 2015/06/19)
  • 70% of Businesses Attacked Pay Ransomware (IBM Study, 2016/12/15)
  • ...

How RedSocks MTD works?

Security products generally attempt to prevent malware infections by inspecting incoming code, scripts and other content. RedSocks Security, however, uses a different approach: RedSocks Malicious Threat Detection (MTD) focuses on the communication characteristics (behaviour and destination) of malware that has installed itself on your devices. This method provides instant notification whenever a device becomes infected. The RedSocks MTD placed in a new environment will effortlessly detect malware that has been present for days, weeks or even months. To detect malware, RedSocks MTD monitors all outbound communication to the Internet. In order to implement this RedSocks Security delivers an appliance (or VM solution, as appropriate); that is, a custom-built server that is placed on the outer edge of your network. Specifically, the unit is positioned adjacent to the edge router that is responsible for supplying traffic meta-data (called flow data). This unit’s sole task is to detect malware by analysing all flow data. This configuration enables the MTD to act instantly. For the detection of malicious behaviour over a longer period of time, the MTD uses heuristic analysis of traffic data history statistics. This feature enables the MTD to utilise a more fine-grained detection method designed to capture malware that slips through security product implementations that are limited to real-time detection.


RedSocks MTD covers the blind spot in security, NOT replace traditional security tool

A differentiating aspect of the RedSocks approach is that the MTD monitors outbound network traffic for malicious characteristics.

This approach differs from the traditional security, which typically only checks inbound network traffic. A firewall, for instance, approves inbound traffic by matching it with an earlier outbound request. An anti-virus product approves inbound traffic on content. Both of these methods, however, have blind spots due to their sole reliance on inbound traffic monitoring.

Outbound network traffic will always reveal in what way, by what volume, to what country and how frequent client devices are in contact with destinations on the Internet (i.e., always detect malware activity). RedSocks MTD is meant to act alongside your existing security measures and acts as a complementary safeguard that is capable of covering the blind spots that traditional tools do not monitor. When traditional solutions fail, RedSocks MTD will be there to defend your system.


A differentiating aspect of the RedSocks approach is that the MTD monitors outbound network traffic for malicious behaviour and traffic destinations.

This approach differs from the traditional security, which typically focuses on inbound network traffic. A firewall, for instance, approves inbound traffic by matching it with an earlier outbound request. An anti-virus product approves inbound traffic based on content. Both of these methods, however, have blind spots due to their reliance on inbound network traffic monitoring.

Outbound network traffic will always reveal in what way, by what volume, to what country and how frequent client devices are in contact with destinations on the Internet (i.e., always detect malware activity). RedSocks MTD is meant to be implemented alongside your existing security measures and act as a complementary detection solution, capable of covering the blind spots that traditional solutions do not monitor. Where traditional solutions fail, RedSocks MTD will be there to defend your system.


RedSocks Malicious Threat Detection Solution - Probe 

  • Mirrored traffic form company network
  • IP Flow Information Export (IPFIX) Entities analysis 

Specification of Virtual Probe

  • VM Ware 
  • xxx


RedSocks Malicious Threat Detection Solution - MTD (malicious threat detector) 

  • Threats logs

Specification of Virtual MTD 

  • VM Ware 
  • xxx
  • xxx

Alerts and Notifications

The RedSocks MTD appliance is remotely managed using a secure web interface. This interface presents a convenient overview of the MTD detection process: Lists of alerts are shown in a dashboard screen with listings showing type, source and destination.

For additional automated processing, alerts can be sent as syslog messages to an appropriate system in your infrastructure (e.g., a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system). Any other type of exchange services is easily supported by the solution.

RedSocks MTD support following SIEM integration:

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) ArcSight
  • Splunk Enterprise Security (ES)

The following SIEM integration by request: (TBC)

  • IBM Security QRadar
  • AlienVault Unified Security Management (USM)
  • LogRhythm SIEM
  • McAfee Enterprise Security Manager (ESM)
  • Micro Focus Sentinel Enterprise
  • SolarWinds Log & Event Manager
  • Trustwave SIEM Enterprise and Log Management Enterprise
  • RSA NetWitness Suite

Lists of Malicious Indicators

In order to detect malware, the appliance digests up-to-date lists of malicious indicators. These lists are produced by the RedSocks Malware Labs and sent to the MTD appliance every hour. Should any device in your network match an entry in this risk list, an alert will be triggered. Multiple lists are updated continuously with URLS and destinations.




Dashboard - malicious threats monitoring, reporting, investigation and logging 

  • xxx
  • xxx
  • xxx 

Integrate with SIEM (security information and event management) 

  • xxxxx
  • xxxxx
  • xxxxx




Data retention for forensic purpose, compliance with EU legislation, GDPR and Dutch Legislation “Meldplicht Datalekken”

The RedSocks MTD can store more than 12 months’ data in a forensic manner, enabling your organization to make large steps towards being compliant to the European legislation, GDPR and the Dutch Legislation “Meldplicht Datalekken”. The data is stored forensically sound and users are able to generate historical reports based on rich IPFIX data.

The deployed MTD will sit in your network, and your network only; no third parties will be able to look into your MTD’s data


Compliance with EU GDPR (Europe general data protection regulation)

  • Forensic data collection requirements
  • European GDPR (general data protection regulation)
  • Dutch Legislation “Meldplicht Datalekken” (Notification Data Leakage)


Applied Cyber Threat Intelligence Services and Security Analytics

The RedSocks Malware Intelligence team uses applied threat intelligence and security analytics to detect malware. In order to detect malware we define Cyber Threat Intelligence, the team analyses 20+ reputable feed sources, 30+ automated labs and uses various engines. Using our Cyber Threat Intelligence, the detection rate of malware is much higher than traditional anti-virus products, for example. Traditional anti-virus solutions were only able to detect 43% of the malware that RedSocks detected in March 2016

The RedSocks solution uses three main modules,

  1. Destination based detection,
  2. Security analytics; and
  3. Data retention

These three modules are interrelated and complement each other in order to be able to detected newly developed malware and historic malware. Historical data is used to benchmark newly developed malware to detect whether it communicates to a bad Internet neighberhood, for example.



Constant Vigilance against Malware

RedSocks Malware Intelligence Team

The RedSocks Malware Intelligence Team is a group of experienced experts who specialise in malware. Their primary task is to develop risk analyses and compile lists of malicious indicators on a 24/7 basis. The results of their enduring malware research is continuously implemented via updates to the RedSocks MTD appliance. Significant aspects of these malicious indicators are entries that describe certain Internet Destinations; not all malware, however, exhibits behaviour towards Destinations. Such camouflaged malware can still be detected by the MTD via its use of security analytics. This detection method uses heuristics incorporated within the MTD to detect malicious behaviour even when no specific Destinations are targeted. This heuristic analysis adds a critically important layer of protection for devices in your environment. The Malware Intelligence Team is the backbone in our fight against malware. In addition to malicious indicator compilation, the Malware Intelligence Team develops detection algorithms for malicious behaviour. In other words, the RedSocks MTD can intelligently discover malware even before dangerous code is even developed! By staying abreast of current trends and IT risks, the Malware Intelligence Team is able to keep ahead of the curve while keeping your infrastructure secure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Large-scale Malware Analysis

Automation in research is an important aspect of our overall speed & effectiveness in terms of malware threat research. On a daily basis up to 1 million (time of writing) new unique pieces of malware are automatically analysed in the RedSocks Lab. In this way, RedSocks keeps close track of new malicious trends in the field; for example, new methodologies that are used to compromise specific devices. Due to this effort, new breeds of malware are identified in our own lab, translated into new detection algorithms and then new malicious indicators are integrated into the MTD via updates. Approximately 1.000.000 bad Destinations are sent to the MTD appliance per hour — the RedSocks Malware Intelligence Team gathers these in real-time. In addition RedSocks commits extra resources, when needed, to address specialised malware that magnifies over time to become a serious threat. Increasingly, criminals and hostile states are targeting specific companies or industry sectors utilizing specialised malware.

To help combat this trend, a large partner network continuously provides RedSocks with malware collections that are harvested in the wild. This collection frequently contains malware that focuses on Dutch and other Western European targets, particularly those that target departments within companies (e.g., R&D, sales, finance), certain data storage, production and research bodies, or government entities. Consequently, increased activity in this field may temporarily require extra attention. Our lab is committed to the swift development and implementation of additional algorithms so that the MTD solution is able to effectively deal with these kinds of attacks.

Large-scale Malware Monitoring

RedSocks continuously monitors tens of thousands of botnets in the wild and in real-time together with our partners. Moreover, we monitor millions of infected systems worldwide that are considered a risk. The result of this monitoring is included in the lists of malicious indicators and captured in new detection algorithms.

Beyond Malware Detection

Analysis of Network Traffic History

The appliance is capable of re-evaluating network traffic history to test against new insights supplied by the latest updates. When receiving new malicious indicators containing detection algorithms, the appliance automatically re-runs an analysis on the network traffic history file. For this the appliance stores up to 12 months of condensed network traffic meta-data. This feature enables the RedSocks MTD to detect active malware in an incredibly short time-span. It also allows you to determine which devices have been at risk due to a particular short-lived malware outbreak caused by a compromised popular website. In addition, the re-analysis of previous network traffic enables the detection of a specific type of Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) stealth malware that sparsely contacts its creators for new instructions and barely sends out data.

Enforce company's security policy

The RedSocks appliance also protects against malicious, fraudulent, reckless and risky actions such as undesirable user behaviour, improper use of devices, misconfiguration, hijacked settings, abuse of computing resources and abuse of energy. With these additional detections, the MTD acts as your partner in the enforcement of your company’s computer and network usage policy. Alignment of the MTD with your computer and network usage policies can be accomplished via customisation options within the MTD’s web interface. Individual detection categories can be enabled or disabled, giving you the opportunity to enforce company security policies from a centralised location.

Additionally, the MTD offers custom black listing and white listing to create exceptions for certain devices on policies. White listing is used to enable exclusions for specific clients while black listing is used to include certain Internet destinations in alerts, such as company-specific sites or services that are not allowed to be used or visited.

Malicious behaviour

The detection of malicious behaviour includes connections to the ToR network, the use of anonymising proxies, utilizing suspect chat protocols, the use of mail servers and DNS servers outside of your company’s own network and contact with high-risk countries via geo-fencing. Either users or malware can initiate these behaviours — detection may also assist in identifying users with potentially illegitimate and/or fraudulent intentions. The Malware Intelligence Team works tirelessly to create brand new detection algorithms designed to discover malicious behaviour before the malware code itself is even created.

Data Theft

Transferring files outside of your on-premise managed storage facilities poses a high risk for data leakage, data exposure and data theft. The risk of data theft is significant via the use of cloud storage services, instant messaging and remote access tools. Cloud storage in particular is an attractive and straightforward way to transfer large amounts of information outside of the company.

Users may unintentionally be seduced into high-risk behaviour with extremely accessible cloud services or may deliberately move information outside of the company using these tools. Additionally, malware could use cloud-based tools to transfer seized data.

Abuse of Resources

The abuse of network bandwidth, storage capacity, computing power and even energy might be instituted by users or malware. One example is the support of crypto currencies such as Bit coin. At the time of this writing, the support of crypto currency infrastructures—known as coin mining—requires a considerable amount of processing power and represents a significant portion of current malware.

As mining is done for profit, the abuse of device processing power in your network (resulting in energy abuse) is tempting for maximising earnings. In order to detect this improper behaviour on a network, the MTD appliance checks whether devices in the network are part of crypto currency mining pools and P2P networks.

Implementation summary

Implementing RedSocks MTD does not interrupt your network

The appliance simply feeds on flow-data from your router. Flow-data is a concentrated representation of your network traffic and, being a protocol feature, is already present in most network infrastructures; consequently, there is no alteration of existing network equipment when the MTD is implemented.

Flow-data is generated on the fly by your router and is simply fed into the MTD for processing. The processing of flow-data by the MTD does not require any extraneous resources, does NOT slow down your company’s internal network traffic and has NO impact on Internet-related activities. A small configuration change in your router settings is all it takes to provide the MTD with network traffic flow-data for analysis.

The MTD can handle various forms of flow-data, with or without a template. Simply let us know about your network and we can advise with regards to compatibility.

Maximum Privacy

The privacy of your data is of vital importance to RedSocks and the implementation of the MTD reflects this approach. RedSocks MTD is a solution-installed on-premise of your company or organisation. All monitoring, processing and alerting are executed on-premise and with a purpose.

Our malware detection solution offers autonomous operation that facilitates maximum privacy: network traffic analysis, alerts and statistics are kept inside your company network environment. External interaction is restricted to an absolute minimum and is limited to the secure retrieval of updates for new malicious indicators. Of course a client can always choose to have the use of RedSocks outsourced to a managed security operations centre, if desired.

Concerning transparency and insight into the MTD’s functionality, it is possible to have the MTD fully audited. To facilitate auditing, every aspect of RedSocks Malicious Threat Detection is developed by RedSocks itself. For us, client privacy and MTD transparency is a key aspect in the MTD development process.

Immediate Effect

Immediately upon implementation, the appliance is operationally effective. This is because the MTD loads the latest malicious indicators when powered on. Relevant alerts are therefore generated instantly pinpointing compromised devices in your network. To give insight into MTD’s internal processes, the appliance provides a convenient dashboard homepage within its web interface. This feature facilitates a live overview of the detection process and displays the list of alerts.


RedSocks Distributer, Asia Pacific 


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RedSocks Security is specialised in detecting malicious network behaviour and combatting cybercrime. By combining Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Threat Intelligence, RedSocks Security provides non-intrusive, real-time breach detection solutions and incident response services. Our solutions are implementable within organisations of all sizes, and serve as a tool of continuous organisational network monitoring. RedSocks Security offers the RedSocksMTD® as a virtual or hardware network appliance. This innovative, scalable solution analyses outgoing network traffic flows (e.g. Netflow, IPFIX) in real-time, based on algorithms and lists of malicious indicators, helping organisations detect digital threats and APTs faster.

By using the RedSocksMTD® solution, organisations can automatically and accurately identify hidden infections and accelerate incident response. In addition to that the appliance can be used as a compliancy tool since RedSocks Security implements forensic-grade data storage methods.

Using RedSocks Security solutions as methods of threat detection allows organisation’s Security, and Data Protection Officers to maintain the forensic validity of their data even when data is stored on external systems.

For more information please visit:

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