Don’t Cross the Streams

I had an experience a couple of weeks ago where I was reminded about the difference between speed and efficiency. This post will serve as my mea culpa.

I was in the middle of an intense analysis session of some complex malware when I was notified of a brand new piece of malware that needed to be analyzed immediately.  As I went through the process of acquiring it, my boss approached, pulled up a chair, and asked how long before we knew anything.  On the earlier case, I had just reverted my lab VM to a validated base to some kernel level debugging of the samples.  I had only moved in the samples that I needed, but had not begun the analysis. No other activity had taken place in this lab VM.  Instead of taking the time to snapshot the lab’s current state, revert to my base, and analyze the new sample in a clean and validated environment, I just moved the new sample in.  I intended to get some quick static analysis done to decide how much time and what priority this new sample would need.  Then but for one click I could have been a hero. :) Continue reading