One thing we have seen is that there are many researchers who are trying to understand the type of malware and how it affects the computers of users it is injected into. There are research labs set by big companies for this purpose as well. Now, we are seeing reports of huge development in this field because two of the biggest companies, Intel and Microsoft, have launched a joint program to understand the type of malware as well as what damage it can do.
The interesting part about this initiative from Microsoft and Intel is that their approach to understanding the malware is unique which has not been seen before. According to the revelations, they are trying to understand any type of malware by first converting them into images. This project from Microsoft and Intel is given the name STAMINA and it stands for STAtic Malware-as-Image Network Analysis.
As per the explanation given by companies, this technique “converts malware samples into grayscale images and then scans the image for textural and structural patterns specific to malware samples”. Understanding the process of how this detection is done, it is revealed that this works by first “taking an input file and converting its binary form into a stream of raw pixel data”.
It is also known that STAMINA works only for a smaller type of malware right now. Microsoft explains that “For bigger size applications, STAMINA becomes less effective due to limitations in converting billions of pixels into JPEG images and then resizing them,” However, we do know that these companies are capable of developing techniques for larger malware as well so we are likely to see them in the near future. As far as smaller malware is concerned, the results are said to be excellent.