Malicious actors turn to obscure programming languages

by Jeremy

Malicious actors are increasingly coding in more “exotic” programming languages to write new strains of malware on the basis that using new, lesser-known, or otherwise uncommon languages will help their attacks evade detection and hinder analysis. According to a whitepaper produced by BlackBerry’s Research and Intelligence Team, this is what has shed light on the use of less prolific languages in the cybercriminal space.

“Malware authors are known for their ability to adapt and modify their skills and behaviors to take advantage of newer technologies,” said BlackBerry threat research vice-president Eric Milam.

“This has multiple benefits from the development cycle and inherent lack of coverage from protective solutions. Industry and customers must understand and keep tabs on these trends as they are only going to increase.”

BlackBerry’s researchers targeted four uncommon languages to analyze: Go, D, Nim, and Rust, all of which its detection tools have seen being used more for malicious intent of late. Milam said these languages also piqued the team’s interest because they are considered more developed and have strong backing in the legitimate developer community.

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