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yaraQA – YARA Rule Analyzer To Improve Rule Quality And Performance

YARA rule Analyzer to improve rule quality and performance

Why?

YARA rules can be syntactically correct but still dysfunctional. yaraQA tries to find and report these issues to the author or maintainer of a YARA rule set.

The issues yaraQA tries to detect are e.g.:

  • rules that are syntactically correct but never match due to errors in the condition (e.g. rule with one string and 2 of them in the condition)
  • rules that use string and modifier combinations that are probably wrong (e.g. $ = "\\Debug\\" fullword)
  • performance issues caused by short atoms, repeating characters or loops (e.g. $ = "AA"; can be excluded from the analysis using --ignore-performance)

I’m going to extend the test set over time. Each minor version will include new features or new tests.

Install requirements

pip install -r requirements.txt

Usage

<div class="highlight highlight-source-shell notranslate position-relative overflow-auto" data-snippet-clipboard-copy-content="usage: yaraQA.py [-h] [-f yara files [yara files …]] [-d yara files [yara files …]] [-o outfile] [-b baseline] [-l level] [–ignore-performance] [–debug] YARA RULE ANALYZER optional arguments: -h, –help show this help message and exit -f yara files [yara files …] Path to input files (one or more YARA rules, separated by space) -d yara files [yara files …] Path to input directory (YARA rules folders, separated by space) -o outfile Output file that lists the issues (JSON, default: ‘yaraQA-issues.json’) -b baseline Use a issues baseline (issues found and reviewed before) to filter issues -l level Minium level to show (1=informational, 2=warning, 3=critical) –ignore-performance Suppress performance-related rule issues –debug Debug output” dir=”auto”>

usage: yaraQA.py [-h] [-f yara files [yara files ...]] [-d yara files [yara files ...]] [-o outfile] [-b baseline] [-l level]
[--ignore-performance] [--debug]

YARA RULE ANALYZER

optional arguments:
-h, --help show this help message and exit
-f yara files [yara files ...]
Path to input files (one or more YARA rules, separated by space)
-d yara files [yara files ...]
Path to input directory (YARA rules folders, separated by space)
-o outfile Output file that lists the issues (JSON, default: 'yaraQA-issues.json')
-b baseline Use a issues baseline (issues found and reviewed before) to filter issues
-l level Minium level to show (1=informational, 2=warning, 3=critical)
--ignore-performance Suppress performance-related rule issues
--debug Debug output

Try it out

Suppress all performance issues and only show detection / logic issues.

python3 yaraQA.py -d ./test/ --ignore-performance

Suppress all issues of informational character

python3 yaraQA.py -d ./test/ -level 2

Use a baseline to only see new issues (not the ones that you’ve already reviewed). The baseline file is an old JSON output of a reviewed state.

python3 yaraQA.py -d ./test/ -b yaraQA-reviewed-issues.json

Example Rules with Issues

Example rules with issues can be found in the ./test folder.

Output

yaraQA writes the detected issues to a file named yaraQA-issues.json by default.

This listing shows an example of the output generated by yaraQA in JSON format:

<div binary class="highlight highlight-source-json notranslate position-relative overflow-auto" data-snippet-clipboard-copy-content="[ { "rule": "Demo_Rule_1_Fullword_PDB", "id": "SM1", "issue": "The rule uses a PDB string with the modifier 'wide'. PDB strings are always included as ASCII strings. The 'wide' keyword is unneeded.", "element": { "name": "$s1", "value": "\\\\i386\\\\mimidrv.pdb", "type": "text", "modifiers": [ "ascii", "wide", "fullword" ] }, "level": "info", "type": "logic", "recommendation": "Remove the 'wide' modifier" }, { "rule": "Demo_Rule_1_Fullword_PDB", "id": "SM2", "issue": "The rule uses a PDB string with the modifier 'fullword' but it starts with two backslashes and thus the modifier could lead to a dysfunctional rule.", "element": { "name": "$s1", "value": "\\\\i386\\\\mimidrv.pdb", "type": "text", "modifiers": [ "ascii", "wide", "fullword" ] }, "level": "warning", "type": "logic", "recommendation": "Remove the 'fullword' modifier" }, { "rule": "Demo_Rule_2_Short_Atom", "id": "PA2", "issue": "The rule contains a string that turns out to be a very short atom, which could cause a reduced performance of the complete rule set or increased memory usage.", "element": { "name": "$s1", "value": "{ 01 02 03 }", "type": "byte" }, "level": "warning", "type": "performance", "recommendation": "Try to avoid using such short atoms, by e.g. adding a few more bytes to the beginning or the end (e.g. add a binary 0 in front or a space after the string). Every additional byte helps.” }, { “rule”: “Demo_Rule_3_Fullword_FilePath_Section”, “id”: “SM3”, “issue”: “The rule uses a string with the modifier ‘fullword’ but it starts and ends with two backslashes and thus the modifier could lead to a dysfunctional rule.”, “element”: { “name”: “$s1”, “value”: “\\\\ZombieBoy\\\\”, “type”: “text”, “modifiers”: [ “ascii”, “fullword” ] }, “level”: “warning”, “type”: “logic”, “recommendation”: “Remove the ‘fullword’ modifier” }, { “rule”: “Demo_Rule_4_Condition_Never_Matches”, “id”: “CE1”, “issue”: “The rule uses a condition that will never match”, “element”: { “condition_segment”: “2 of”, “num_of_strings”: 1 }, “level”: “error”, “type”: “logic”, “recommendation”: “Fix the condition” }, { “rule”: “Demo_Rule_5_Condition_Short_String_At_Pos”, “id”: “PA1”, “issue”: “This rule looks for a short string at a particular position. A short string represents a short atom and could be rewritten to an expression using uint(x) at position.”, “element”: { “condition_segment”: “$mz at 0”, “string”: “$mz”, “value”: “MZ” }, “level”: “warning”, “type”: “performance”, “recommendation”: “” }, { “rule”: “Demo_Rule_5_Condition_Short_String_At_Pos”, “id”: “PA2”, “issue”: “The rule contains a string that turns out to be a very short atom, which could cause a reduced performance of the complete rule set or increased memory usage.”, “element”: { “name”: “$mz”, “value”: “MZ”, “type”: “text”, “modifiers”: [ “ascii” ] }, “level”: “warning”, “type”: “performance”, “recommendation”: “Try to avoid using such short atoms, by e.g. adding a few more bytes to the beginning or the end (e.g. add a binary 0 in front or a space after the string). Every additional byte helps.” }, { “rule”: “Demo_Rule_6_Condition_Short_Byte_At_Pos”, “id”: “PA1”, “issue”: “This rule looks for a short string at a particular position. A short string represents a short atom and could be rewritten to an expression using uint(x) at position.”, “element”: { “condition_segment”: “$mz at 0”, “string”: “$mz”, “value”: “{ 4d 5a }” }, “level”: “warning”, “type”: “performance”, “recommendation”: “” }, { “rule”: “Demo_Rule_6_Condition_Short_Byte_At_Pos”, “id”: “PA2”, “issue”: “The rule contains a string that turns out to be a very short atom, which could cause a reduced performance of the complete rule set or increased memory usage.”, “element”: { “name”: “$mz”, “value”: “{ 4d 5a }”, “type”: “byte” }, “level”: “warning”, “type”: “performance”, “recommendation”: “Try to avoid using such short atoms, by e.g. adding a few more bytes to the beginning or the end (e.g. add a binary 0 in front or a space after the string). Every additional byte helps.” }, { “rule”: “Demo_Rule_6_Condition_Short_Byte_At_Pos”, “id”: “SM3”, “issue”: “The rule uses a string with the modifier ‘fullword’ but it starts and ends with two backslashes and thus the modifier could lead to a dysfunctional rule.”, “element”: { “name”: “$s1”, “value”: “\\\\Section\\\\in\\\\Path\\\\”, “type”: “text”, “modifiers”: [ “ascii”, “fullword” ] }, “level”: “warning”, “type”: “logic”, “recommendation”: “Remove the ‘fullword’ modifier” } ]” dir=”auto”>

[
{
"rule": "Demo_Rule_1_Fullword_PDB",
"id": "SM1",
"issue": "The rule uses a PDB string with the modifier 'wide'. PDB strings are always included as ASCII strings. The 'wide' keyword is unneeded.",
"element": {
"name": "$s1",
"value": "\\\\i386\\\\mimidrv.pdb",
"type": "text",
"modifiers": [
"ascii",
"wide",
"fullword"
]
},
"level": "info",
"type": "logic",
"recommendation": "Remove the 'wide' modifier"
},
{
"rule": "Demo_Rule_1_Fullword_PDB",
"id": "SM2",
"issue": "The rule uses a PDB string with the modifier 'fullword' but it starts with two backslashes and thus the modifier could lead to a dysfunctional rule.",
"element": {
"name": " $s1",
"value": "\\\\i386\\\\mimidrv.pdb",
"type": "text",
"modifiers": [
"ascii",
"wide",
"fullword"
]
},
"level": "warning",
"type": "logic",
"recommendation": "Remove the 'fullword' modifier"
},
{
"rule": "Demo_Rule_2_Short_Atom",
"id": "PA2",
"issue": "The rule contains a string that turns out to be a very short atom, which could cause a reduced performance of the complete rule set or increased memory usage.",
"element": {
"name": "$s1",
"value": "{ 01 02 03 }",
"type": "byte"
},
"level": "warning",
"type": "performance",
"recommendation": "Try to avoid using such short atoms, by e.g. adding a few more bytes to the beginning or the end (e.g. add a binary 0 in front or a space after the string). Every additional byte helps."
},
{
"rule": "Demo_Rule_3_Fullword_FilePath_Section",
"id": "SM3",
"issue": "The rule uses a string with the modifier 'fullword' but it starts and ends with two backslashes and thus the modifier could lead to a dysfunctional rule.",
"element": {
"name": "$s1",
"value": "\\\\ZombieBoy\\\\",
"type": "text",
"modifiers": [
"ascii",
"fullword"
]
},
"level": "warning",
"type": "logic",
"recommendation": "Remove the 'fullword' modifier"
},
{
"rule": "Demo_Rule_4_Condition_Never_Matches",
"id": "CE1",
"issue": "The rule uses a condition that will never match",
"element": {
"condition_segment": "2 of",
"num_of_strings": 1
},
"level": "error",
"type": "logic",
"recommendation": "Fix the condition"
},
{
"rule": "Demo_Rule_5_Condition_Short_String_At_Pos",
"id": "PA1",
"issue": "This rule looks for a short string at a particular position. A short string represents a short atom and could be rewritten to an expression using uint(x) at position.",
"element": {
"condition_segment": "$mz at 0",
"string": "$mz",
"value": "MZ"
},
"level": "warning",
"type": "performance",
"recommendation": ""
},
{
"rule": "Demo_Rule_5_Condition_Short_String_At_Pos",
"id": "PA2",
"issue": "The rule contains a string that turns out to be a very short atom, which could cause a reduced performance of the complete rule set or increased memory usage.",< br/> "element": {
"name": "$mz",
"value": "MZ",
"type": "text",
"modifiers": [
"ascii"
]
},
"level": "warning",
"type": "performance",
"recommendation": "Try to avoid using such short atoms, by e.g. adding a few more bytes to the beginning or the end (e.g. add a binary 0 in front or a space after the string). Every additional byte helps."
},
{
"rule": "Demo_Rule_6_Condition_Short_Byte_At_Pos",
"id": "PA1",
"issue": "This rule looks for a short string at a particular position. A short string represents a short atom and could be rewritten to an expression using uint(x) at position.",
"element": {
"condition_segment": "$mz at 0",
"string": "$mz",
"value": "{ 4d 5a }"
},
"level": "warning",
"type": "performance",
"recommendation": ""
},
{
"rule": "Demo_Rule_6_Condition_Short_Byte_At_Pos",
"id": "PA2",
"issue": "The rule contains a string that turns out to be a very short atom, which could cause a reduced performance of the complete rule set or increased memory usage.",
"element": {
"name": "$mz",
"value": "{ 4d 5a }",
"type": "byte"
},
"level": "warning",
"type": "performance",
"recommendation": "Try to avoid using such short atoms, by e.g. adding a few more bytes to the beginning or the end (e.g. add a binary 0 in front or a space after the string). Every additional byte helps."
},
{
"rule": "Demo_Rule_6_Condition_Short_Byte_At_Pos",
"id": "SM3",
"issue": "The rule uses a string with the modifier 'fullword' but it starts and ends with two backsla shes and thus the modifier could lead to a dysfunctional rule.",
"element": {
"name": "$s1",
"value": "\\\\Section\\\\in\\\\Path\\\\",
"type": "text",
"modifiers": [
"ascii",
"fullword"
]
},
"level": "warning",
"type": "logic",
"recommendation": "Remove the 'fullword' modifier"
}
]

Screenshots

Source : KitPloit – PenTest Tools!

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