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Specialized Tool Documentation (Malware Removal Information)


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#1 Kaosu

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 03:36 PM

I personally find it odd that Bleeping Computer does not make the contents of their malware removal training program publicly accessible. Keep in mind that I am not talking about the 'training' aspect of the program, but rather the documentation. Would it not be beneficial to the community as a whole to provide a publicly accessible, read-only archive of these training materials? Why create detailed documentation for specialized removal tools, but then hide them away from the public? Why do all UNITE schools not want to make the information public? Sharing this information would allow interested people to acquire a new skill without the associated time constraints of a training program.

 

I'll admit that I was in the training program for a short while, but I had to stop because of time constraints. I really enjoyed reading the information provided to members of the program and feel that it would be an amazing addition to the community if this information were publicly available for anyone to study (minus the interactive content, like exercises, of course). I'm not trying to sound rude or demand anything, but it seems odd that a community focused on sharing knowledge would not want to share an entire library with the public.

 

I vote for a "Bleeping Computer Public Library". ;)


Edited by Kaosu, 09 July 2015 - 03:40 PM.


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#2 Aura

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:31 PM

Hi Kaosu :)

I doubt it's going to happen. Just think about what would happen if all the training material was made public. You would see all the malware authors lurk BleepingComputer in order to understand how they proceed to do malware removal, how they know where to look, how to remove infections, etc. This would result in more advanced malware that would be way harder to remove and more "intelligent" malware author. Also, the training is meant to be done under supervision and if a user was to try to complete it alone on his own system and was to run the wrong tool or wrong command, he could end up messing up his whole system. I'm not part of BleepingComputer's Staff, nor Academy (I'm from GeekU) but I can tell you that it'll never happen. OTL and FRST tutorials are already public from their respective author's wish, so there's that.

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#3 quietman7

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:49 PM

As you have noted...all UNITE schools conduct training in Private forum areas. Documentation on specialized fix tools is only a small part of the malware removal program. There are numerous topics and tutorials which cover various topics from working with the Windows Registry to troubleshooting OS boot issues. There are various discussion topics and practical exercises ranging from beginner to advanced trainee. Even the beginners do not have access to all of the private areas since some of those forums are restricted to advanced level. Training is conducted in steps to ensure each trainee is competent in a particular area before moving to higher levels of learning. This not only enables instructors to control the curriculum but it helps to keep trainees from becoming overwhelmed with the volume of information available in the school libraries.

Further, some tool developers do not want the inner workings of their tools discussed in public...primarily to protect the integrity of the tool from malware writers who visit and read public postings looking for ways to circumvent tools. Some developers like Farbar who developed FRST and OldTimer who created OTL do make documentation publicly available to anyone but the decision to do so rests with them, not the web site owners and administrations.

With that said, we do permit public discussion topics of specialized fix tools where anyone can participate by asking questions, providing comments and even make suggestions which we can pass on to the tool developers.
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#4 Kaosu

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:09 PM

Would it be possible to request something like a generalized table of contents of the private training material, organized by experience levels? This compromise would benefit the community by providing a semi-structured learning path for any interested party, and it would also allow Bleeping Computer to greatly control what information is shared with the public. Any interested party would still need to carefully research each topic using publicly accessible information, but they could begin their research with the confidence that they are traveling down the correct path to achieve a specific skill. Would this suggestion not satisfy everyone involved?



#5 Aura

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:14 PM

Like we said (and quietman explained), I don't think it will happen Kaosu. If you were once part of this training, you should understand all the reasons why it won't happen.

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#6 Kaosu

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:21 PM

Like we said (and quietman explained), I don't think it will happen Kaosu. If you were once part of this training, you should understand all the reasons why it won't happen.

 

I believe some of these reasons are little silly. A malware author does not need to study generic malware removal techniques to make their malware more intelligent, so that is kind of a moot point. There are many online resources that discuss in-depth how to create malicious software, complete with examples and heavily commented code. Authors of this type of software are already organized and actively sharing information about their craft with anyone who will listen. Don't you all think it is a little backwards when access to information about creating malicious software is better organized and more easily accessible than information related to removing it?


Edited by Kaosu, 09 July 2015 - 05:24 PM.


#7 Aura

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:24 PM

There's plenty of information on how to identify and remove malware on a system as well, so I don't know why the content of private trainings should be made public. Just watch Malware Hunting with Sysinternals Tools, it'll give you a really good start.

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#8 Kaosu

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:28 PM

There's plenty of information on how to identify and remove malware on a system as well, so I don't know why the content of private trainings should be made public. Just watch Malware Hunting with Sysinternals Tools, it'll give you a really good start.

 

I'm not asking for the content of the private materials. I'm just looking for a generalized table of contents. No one would have to share anything private. Even most books will offer a free look at their table of contents, it does not mean they are giving away any of the content for free, it just gives people a general idea of what they would learn. That is all that I am suggesting.



#9 Aura

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:29 PM

There's tons of these already around the web, so why would you ask for the summary of a private training? That's the thing here, it's private for a reason and I think you should respect that. If the ones behind the trainings want to make it public, they will.

Anyway since I'm not part of the Staff, I'll stop there. I'm out of this thread.

Edited by Aura., 09 July 2015 - 05:29 PM.

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#10 Kaosu

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:34 PM

There's tons of these already around the web, so why would you ask for the summary of a private training? That's the thing here, it's private for a reason and I think you should respect that. If the ones behind the trainings want to make it public, they will.

Anyway since I'm not part of the Staff, I'll stop there. I'm out of this thread.

 

Because a summary of the training simply provides guidance and an efficient way to achieve a specific skill. I just don't understand why the guidance and structure must come with a cost associated with it, especially on a community-driven forum that is all about sharing information so we can all help each other.

 

I'll simply choose to respect your stance on this matter and we stop arguing over something neither of us have any control over. I see your points and I hope you can see mine. Either way, thank you for taking an interest in the topic and for also sharing some useful information.


Edited by Kaosu, 09 July 2015 - 05:35 PM.


#11 Aura

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:35 PM

No problem, you're welcome.

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#12 quietman7

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:47 PM

Kaosu...All suggestions are welcome.

Our Study Hall Admins who run the training program here and Grinler, the site owner of BC most likely will read this topic at some point. Perhaps they will take your suggestion under consideration but I can't make any promises.
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