Top Tools / February 17, 2022

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Top 25 Malware Analysis Tools

Malware has become a major threat to organizations all over the world. If the proper controls are not in place, something as simple as opening an email attachment can end up costing a company millions of dollars. Fortunately, there are a plethora of malware analysis tools available to assist in combating these cyber threats.

When responding to a malware-related security incident, a digital forensics or research team will typically collect and analyze a sample in order to better understand its capabilities and guide its investigation.

A variety of tools are available to assist security analysts in reverse engineering malware samples. Here are the top tools you must learn about to protect your system from malware.

1. PeStudio

PeStudio is useful when analyzing a Windows executable. This is an excellent tool for performing an initial triage of a malware sample, allowing me to quickly extract any suspicious artifacts.

Once a binary has been loaded, it will quickly provide the user with hashes of the malware as well as any VirusTotal detections. A list of strings is also pulled; however, if the sample is packed, this may not yield any strong IOCs; however, unpacking the sample and then reviewing the strings will frequently yield useful information such as malicious domains and IP addresses.

Key Features:

  • The first bytes in hexadecimal are provided by PeStudio.

  • The file's entropy is also listed; this is useful because the entropy value can help determine whether or not the malware is packed.

  • The indicators tab is the next tab in PeStudio; this tab highlights information within the specimen that may be malevolent and of involvement to a malware analyst.


Prices for up to 9 licenses begin at $100.00.

2. Process Hacker

A malware analyst can use Process Hacker to see what processes are running on a device. This can be useful when a piece of malware is detonated to see what new processes are created by the malware and where these are running from on disc. Malware will frequently attempt to conceal itself by copying itself to a new location and then renaming itself. Process Hacker will display this activity as it occurs, making it easy to identify how the malware is attempting to conceal itself.

Key Features:

  • This tool is also useful for retrieving information from a process's memory.

  • Process Hacker can be used to inspect the memory for strings, and the strings found in memory will frequently return useful information such as IP addresses, domains, and user agents that the malware is using.


You can download the present version and check for the pricing details.

3. Process Monitor (ProcMon)

One of the best malware analysis tools, Microsoft's ProcMon is a powerful tool that records live filesystem activity such as process creative works and registry changes. When used in conjunction with Process Hacker, this is extremely useful because a new process can be created and then quickly killed; this process can then be reviewed in the ProcMon capture. An analyst can immediately identify what procedures were formed, where the executable was run from, and the parent/child interdependences by using the prebuilt filters or process tree.

Key Features:

  • When analyzing malicious documents, ProcMon can be especially useful.

  • Malicious Word documents are frequently used as an attack vector by the threat actors behind Emotet.

  • When macros are enabled in the Word document, they will connect to the attacker's C2 infrastructure and download the Emotet payload.


Procmon is a free tool provided by Microsoft to Windows administrators via their website.

4. ProcDot

ProcDot enables a malware analyst to consume ProcMon output and automatically generate a pictorial depiction of the captured data. Simply import the CSV file into ProcDot and select the malware's process name.

Key Features:

  • ProcMon data can also be supplemented by importing a pcap from a tool like Wireshark into ProcDot.

  • Rather than creating filters and navigating hundreds of thousands of events, you can now navigate a visual diagram of what malware activity was recorded.


You can download the application and then check the pricing.

5. Autoruns

Autoruns is yet another Microsoft tool that displays any installed software on a device that is set to launch when the machine is turned on. Malware can hide, but it must eventually run, and in order to survive a reboot, malware must create a persistence mechanism.

Key Features:

  • There are a few techniques that can be used to accomplish this goal, such as creating a scheduled task or creating specific registry run keys.

  • Autoruns will detect and bring to light any new continual software and the technique it has implemented after running a piece of malware in a VM, making it ideal for malware analysis.


There are numerous free tools available that can assist you with not only malware analysis but also sysadmin tasks.

6. Fiddler

Malware will frequently use HTTP/HTTPS to communicate with its command and control servers in order to download additional malware or exfiltrate data. This traffic can be captured and analyzed using a tool that acts as a web proxy, such as Fiddler.

Key Features:

  • A malware analyst can use fiddler to recognize the sites that are hardcoded into the file and will be used to install the server-based malware.

  • In the preceding example, you can see how Fiddler was able to record a malicious Word document attempting to download Emotet from multiple websites.


The package starts from $10.

7. Wireshark

Wireshark is the industry standard for capturing and analyzing network traffic. Whereas a web proxy like Fiddler focuses on HTTP/HTTPS traffic, Wireshark allows for deep packet inspection of multiple protocols at multiple layers.

Key Features:

  • While analyzing packet captures in Wireshark, it is even essential to retrieve files downloaded by the malware from the pcap.

  • Wireshark is an excellent tool for troubleshooting network issues and situations.


Wireshark is "free software," which means you can get it without paying a license fee.

8. X64dbg

All of the tools we've discussed so far can be used by beginners who are just starting out in the world of malware analysis. The learning curve for malware analysis begins to steepen with x64dbg. This tool is used for manually debugging and reverse engineering malware samples.

Key Features:

  • It requires an understanding of assembly code to use, but once that learning curve has plateaued.

  • It allows a malware analyst to manually unpack and disassemble malware samples like a surgeon with a scalpel.


You can download the app and check for any additional pricing.

9. Ghidra

Ghidra, which was created by the National Security Agency (NSA), is a disassembler rather than a debugger. Ghidra allows you to navigate assembly code functions in the same way that x64dbg does, but the code is not executed; instead, it is disassembled so that it can be statically analyzed.

Key Features:

  • A significant difference between Ghidra and x64dbg is that Ghidra will attempt to decompile the code into a human-readable output that is similar to what the malware author wrote when creating the malware.

  • The variables and instructions that comprise each function are presented, it is often easier for a malware analyst to reverse engineer the malware.


Ghidra is open source, so you can install it on as many workstations as you need for free.

10. Radare2/Cutter

Radare2 is a command-line debugger that can be used on both Windows and Linux. What I like best about Radare2 is that, unlike x64dbg, it can analyze Linux executables. To make Radare2 easier to use for those who are put off by the command-line interface, it also has a graphical user interface (GUI) front end called Cutter. This brings it to our list of the best Malware Analysis Tools.

Key Features:

  • Cutter is a graphical user interface for the well-known reverse engineering framework radare2.

  • It is aimed at those who are unfamiliar with radare2 or prefer a graphical interface to the command-line interface provided by radare2.


You can request a quote on their website.

11. Cuckoo Sandbox

A Cuckoo Sandbox is a malware analysis tool that automates the process. Cuckoo Sandboxes that I have previously built have all been built on an Ubuntu host that runs the main Cuckoo application. A Windows 7 VM is nested within Virtualbox on the host. The VM is equipped with a Cuckoo agent, which allows it to send data back to the Ubuntu host running Cuckoo.

Key Features:

  • The malware is submitted to the VM, and the Cuckoo agent records the malware's activity.

  • When there is an incident involving malware, a Cuckoo Sandbox is a great tool to have within an organization.


Cuckoo Sandbox is a free piece of software that automates the process of analyzing any malicious file on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android.

12. Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes must be your first port of call if you assume a malware infection. It is updated daily, so you can rely on it to detect and remove new threats as soon as they appear.

Key Features:

  • Malwarebytes purchased Adwcleaner, which, as the name implies, targets and removes annoying programs.

  • It's also free and, along with Anti-Malware, is an excellent addition to your security arsenal.


It is free to use.

13. Avast Antivirus

Avast provides one of the most capable internet security suites available. While the company is well-known for providing free antivirus software, it's worth noting that it now includes an anti-malware feature that uses behavioral monitoring to detect malicious programs.

Key Features:

  • While the basic Avast service is excellent, the company also offers paid anti-malware software that includes everything from fine-tuning your PC.

  • There are paid-for internet security choices for business users that cover a wide range of needs and options.


Avast's basic products are not only free, but they are also available for mobile devices.

14. Kaspersky Anti-Virus

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a basic security suite that focuses on the essentials: web filtering slabs dangerous URLs, a precise engine detects and removes threats, remote patient monitoring technologies track and reverse malicious actions, and that's about it.

Key Features:

  • Kaspersky is one of the best at detecting and removing malware from infected systems.

  • That's not even taking into account the fact that this anti-virus program has consistently received high marks from sites like AV-Comparatives.


  • The program is also simple to use.

  • An immaculately great design has just the correct amount of knobs and options – neither too many nor too few.

15. Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security is a very capable and user-friendly package with above-average anti-spam and an effective 'Folder Shield' module for ransomware protection. And it appears to be getting better over time.

Key Features:

  • Even though there is some disagreement on the details, the top testing labs all rate it highly for protection.

  • According to AV-Comparatives, it has a high number of false positives, which could be a real pain.

  • AV-Test, on the other hand, reports high levels of accuracy and no issues with false positives.


It offers free services.

16. F-Secure SAFE

F-Secure SAFE is an excellent accumulation of antivirus tools, and while it is marginally more expensive than some other antivirus programs on this best-of list, the number of advantages it offers more than compensates for the higher price.

Key Features:

  • F-Secure SAFE includes F-brilliant Secure's antivirus software, as well as banking protection for safe online shopping, family safety tools.

  • AV-Test gives the package top marks for protection, and AV-Comparatives gives it high marks as well.


F-Secure Safe costs $89.99 for five licenses, which is comparable to the entry-level suites from Kaspersky and ESET.

17. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is a powerful and silent antivirus program. When you install this anti-malware software, it doesn't even ask you any questions; it just quietly gets to work identifying and eliminating anything that could jeopardize your safety and security.

Key Features:

  • It detects apps that are misbehaving, scans web links to identify scams, and has proactive malware and spyware scanning that can detect threats that have never been seen before.

  • Furthermore, the app claims to perform boot scanning every time you boot your PC.


Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is a great product that runs quickly and quietly.

18. Avira Security Suite

One of the most comprehensive free security packages available on the internet is the Avira Free Security Suite. Aside from standard anti-virus protection, the Avira Free security suite also includes a software updater and scans your network for vulnerabilities and assists you in resolving them.

Key Features:

  • There's also a free VPN with up to 500MB of data transfer per month, as well as a password manager and privacy settings manager.

  • Avira suite is comprehensive, some users may prefer to run one or more features through a different suite.


The package starts at $45.99 per year.

19. AVG AntiVirus

If you're looking for anti-malware software that's quiet and won't interfere with your work, be warned: AVG Antivirus Free is quite vocal with its notifications, and occasionally annoys us with pop-ups telling us we've done something fantastic for our online security. It is, however, an excellent anti-malware app.

This is one of the best malware analysis tools, but yes, the notifications can be a bit too much for few users.

Key Features:

  • The dashboard is simple to use, there is protection not only from downloadable threats but also from malicious links.

  • You can scan your PC remotely using your mobile device, which is quite clever.


The paid-for Pro model provides more security features, such as more robust download protection at $20 per month.

20. SpyBot Search & Destroy

SpyBot Search & Destroy has been around since the first adware in 2000, and while it doesn't scan for viruses – that's reserved for the Home version – the free software does a good job of detecting and removing adware, malware, and spyware.

Key Features:

  • It is more of a system repair tool than a system protection tool, and you must be careful where you get it from there are fake versions.


This Spybot isn't free, but it's not expensive either. At $15.99 per year, it is significantly less expensive than any of the antivirus tools we've reviewed.

21. Emsisoft Emergency Kit

Most security software attempts to prevent malware and spyware from infiltrating your system. Emsisoft Emergency Kit, on the other hand, is the 911 call of security software, the app you use when your PC has been pricked by something unsavory.

Key Features:

  • It's intended to be a portable – and anti-malware app you carry around on a USB stick – and its system requirements are minimal: just 200MB of RAM, so it'll run happily on any PC with 1GB of memory or more.

  • Emsisoft Emergency Kit, with its two million malware signatures, can restore almost any infected PC to good health.


The package starts from $19.99 per month.

22. Windbg

Windows Debugger is a multipurpose debugger for Microsoft's Windows operating system. Malware reverse engineers used to use this, but there are no other options on the entry-level malware analyst market. Windbg has a steep learning curve, so check out some of the many video tutorials and websites to help you learn the essential debugging commands.

Key Features:

  • Aside from debugging user-mode applications, some advantages of using Windbg over other debuggers include device drivers and the operating system itself in kernel mode.

  • WinDbg supports the loading of extension DLLs, which can supplement the debugger's supported commands.


The free version is available for usage.

23. HxD

HxD is a free Windows hex editor, disc editor, and memory editor. Other primary options include tagging memory sections, searching for specific types of data, changing the direction of these searches, and exporting any information in a variety of formats.

Key Features:

  • There is no limit to the number of times an action can be reversed.

  • HxD delivers the goods with an appealing, efficient interface and an extensive menu of powerful tools and extras.


The package starts at $6.66 per month.

24. Cerbero Suite

"The Hacker's Multitool" is the name given to the Cerbero Suite. This tool suite has gotten so many new features in the last two years that I use it as much as any other tool on this blog. The Cerbero Suite includes an advanced hex editor that allows you to define layout elements such as structures and code. It can analyze a wide range of file formats.

Key Features:

  • Over the last year, the Cerbero Suite has added a Carbon disassembler engine that works in tandem with Ghidra's Sleigh decompiler.

  • Windows memory analysis can also be performed on physical memory images, hibernation files, and crash dumps.


It is a free tool.

25. Burp Suite

Burp Suite Professional is amongst the most popular vulnerability scanning tools on the market today, and it's also useful for using burp for SSL interception. This will help when malware encrypts SSL traffic. Burp Suite is an excellent tool for capturing all of this traffic and more.

Key Features:

  • Burp Suite Professional is suitable for active scanning and can be used instead of any DAST tool.

  • Unlike other DAST tools, it has a large number of addons that can be installed based on our needs.


The package starts from $399 per user, per year.

Things To Consider While Selecting Malware Analysis Tools

Tools for Behavioral Analysis

In previous years, the malware was frequently identified through comparison. When a program was installed or run, signature directories of known malicious programs were consulted. If the program's signature was missing from the directory, it was deemed safe.

Sandbox Environments

Malicious programs frequently attempt to cause drastic changes in the user's environment. Certain behaviors and actions are considered to be hallmarks of malicious programs; however, if a malicious program has already made these changes, the system may suffer damage even if the program is detected.

Tools for Reverse Engineering and Debugging

Sometimes a malicious program is so sophisticated that even the most sophisticated automated analysis tools are unable to detect it or understand what it does. Malicious programs can be reverse-engineered in this case using a debugger, disassembler, and other specialized tools.

Analysis of Network Traffic

Network traffic analysis, like behavioral analysis, relies on identifying malicious programs through their actions rather than identifying characteristics of the program itself. Network traffic analysis is based on the assumption that a malicious program will generate activity across a network.

Threatening Situations

It is not sufficient to simply analyze threats. Threats must also be addressed. The best malware analysis tools are capable of both detecting and remediating threats. Sandboxing tools will quarantine threats and can undo changes made by malicious programs.


Malware analysis is essential to preventing and trying to identify cyber-attacks. Before 15 years, cybersecurity professionals performed malware analysis manually, which was a time-consuming process, but now cybersecurity experts can analyze the entire life cycle of malware utilizing malware analysis tools, thus also growing threat intelligence.


What is Malware Analysis Tools?

The process of determining the functionality, origin, and impact of malware variants such as viruses, worms, ransomware, adware, and spyware is known as malware analysis.

Malware analysis tools simply allow us to determine what actions a threat takes in the system in a timely and effective manner. This way, you can easily collect all of the information about newly created files, network connections, registry changes, and so on.

What should you consider while purchasing Malware Analysis Tools?

Millions of networks around the world are constantly under attack from a wide range of attacks that originate from a wide range of sources and geographical locations. In fact, hundreds of attacks are taking place every single second right now.

To effectively defend against such an onslaught, proactive analysis of previous attacks as well as forecasting future threats would be required.

What Malware Analysis Tools are available?

There are numerous approaches network administrators can take to address malware issues, some of which are as follows:

  • Installing antivirus and antimalware software to combat threats head-on

  • Increasing network users' technological awareness in order to prevent data leaks and theft – whether intentional or unintentional.

  • Creating and enforcing policies, as well as ensuring the physical safety of hardware devices

  • Continually updating and trying to patch the operating system or application software

What exactly is an SEM tool?

To begin understanding the tool, we must first understand what security event management is.

An SEM tool is a program that monitors system event data (typically stored in event logs), extracts data from it, correlates or equates it into actionable advice, and provides it to whoever it may concern.

What are the Benefits of Using an SEM Tool for Malware Detection and Analysis?

One significant advantage of using an SEM tool is that it provides an optimal solution to the "expenses vs. expertise" dilemma. Here's how it works:

All of this means that an SEM is becoming the best solution since this provides the services of a team of internet backbone security experts at a fraction of the cost of hiring them full-time.

Top 25 Malware Analysis Tools

The world's biggest online directory of resources and tools for startups and the most upvoted product on ProductHunt History.