Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Computer Science


Computer Science

Major Professor

Dr. Golden Richard, III

Second Advisor

Dr. Irfan Ahmed

Third Advisor

Dr. N Adlai A Depano


Malware is computer software written by someone with mischievous or, more usually, malicious and/or criminal intent and specifically designed to damage data, hosts or networks. The variety of malware is increasing proportionally with the increase in computers and we are not aware of newly emerging malware. Tools are needed to categorize families of malware, so that analysts can compare new malware samples to ones that have been previously analyzed and determine steps to detect and prevent malware infections.

In this thesis, I developed a technique to catalog and characterize the behavior of malware, so that malware families, the level of potential threat, and the effects of malware can be identified. Combinations of complementary techniques, including third-party tools, are integrated to scan and illustrate how malware may harm a target machine, search for related malware behavior, and organize malware into families, based on a number of characteristics.


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