A Survey of Visualization Systems for Malware Analysis

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  • Authors: Wagner, Markus; Fischer, Fabian; Luh, Robert; Haberson, Andrea; Rind, Alexander; Keim, Daniel; Aigner, Wolfgang
  • Venue: Eurographics Conference on Visualization (EuroVis) - STARs
  • Date: 2015
  • DOI: 10.2312/eurovisstar.20151114


Due to the increasing threat from malicious software (malware), monitoring of vulnerable systems is becoming increasingly important. The need to log and analyze activity encompasses networks, individual computers, as well as mobile devices. While there are various automatic approaches and techniques available to detect, identify, or capture malware, the actual analysis of the ever-increasing number of suspicious samples is a time-consuming process for malware analysts. The use of visualization and highly interactive visual analytics systems can help to support this analysis process with respect to investigation, comparison, and summarization of malware samples. Currently, there is no survey available that reviews available visualization systems supporting this important and emerging field. We provide a systematic overview and categorization of malware visualization systems from the perspective of visual analytics. Additionally, we identify and evaluate data providers and commercial tools that produce meaningful input data for the reviewed malware visualization systems. This helps to reveal data types that are currently underrepresented, enabling new research opportunities in the visualization community.


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