A malware analyst works in the field of computer and network security to examine, identify, and understand the nature of cyber-threats such as viruses, worms, bots, rootkits, and Trojan horses. All of these types of programs represent malicious code that can infect systems and cause them to behave in unexpected ways.
Malware can compromise both the hardware and software integrity of a computer or network as well as steal proprietary data such as a company’s financial records. Because malicious code comes in many different forms, a malware analyst must be thoroughly conversant with both interpreted and compiled programming languages and must possess a keen understanding of both reverse-engineering and software development.
A malware analyst working in a business environment responds to incident reports issued by personnel who have encountered suspicious computer behavior. Malware analysts recommend and sometimes carry out procedures designed to help systems recover from any damage inflicted, but the majority of their work is concerned with preventing the spread of malware in the first place. Malware analysts are responsible for conducting both dynamic and static analyses of suspicious code in order to establish signatures that indicate its presence. They also determine how such code spreads through systems and develop tools and procedures to detect the code in advance of any infection.
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