YARA alternatives

Looking for an alternative tool to replace YARA? During the review of YARA we looked at other open source tools. Based on their category, tags, and text, these are the ones that have the best match.

Top 3

  1. Malice (VirusTotal clone)
  2. MultiScanner (file scanning and analysis framework)
  3. SSMA (malware analysis tool)

These tools are ranked as the best alternatives to YARA.

Alternatives (by score)

68

Malice

Introduction

Malice is a malware analysis that wants to provide a free and open source version of VirusTotal. The goal of Malice is to make it usable by both independent researchers up to fortune 500 companies.

Malice is useful for those that do malware analysis or deal with user-generated files that may contain malware. The framework allows scanning files and directories to see if they are infected.

Project details

Malice is written in Golang.

Strengths and weaknesses

  • + More than 500 GitHub stars
  • + The source code of this software is available

    Typical usage

    • Malware analysis
    • Malware detection
    • Malware research
    • Malware scanning

    Malice review

    76

    MultiScanner

    Introduction

    MultiScanner helps malware analysts by providing a toolkit to perform both automated and manual analysis. The data extracted from the analysis can be easily stored together, including the relevant metadata and samples. It allows enriching the data further by retrieving information from external resources.

    Project details

    Strengths and weaknesses

    • + More than 10 contributors
    • + The source code of this software is available

      Typical usage

      • Malware analysis
      • Malware detection
      • Malware scanning

      MultiScanner review

      78

      SSMA

      Introduction

      SSMA is short for Simple Static Malware Analyzer. The tool can perform a set of tests against a malware sample and retrieve metadata from it. SSMA can analyze ELF and PE and analyze its structure. For example, it can retrieve the PE file header information and its sections. Other pieces it can analyze is the usage of packers, anti-debugging techniques, cryptographic algorithms, domains, email addresses, and IP addresses. It can also check if the sample is already detected or blocked by using VirusTotal and the blocklist of malwaredomains.com.

      Project details

      SSMA is written in Python.

      Strengths and weaknesses

      • + The source code of this software is available
      • - No releases on GitHub available

      Typical usage

      • Malware analysis
      • Malware detection
      • Malware scanning
      • Reverse engineering

      SSMA review

      60

      bamfdetect

      Introduction

      With bamfdetect, malware and bots can be analyzed. It identifies and extracts information and returns data in JSON format.

      Project details

      bamfdetect is written in Python.

      Strengths and weaknesses

      • + The source code of this software is available

        Typical usage

        • Malware analysis
        • Malware scanning

        bamfdetect review

        64

        Binary Analysis Next Generation (BANG)

        Introduction

        BANG is a framework to unpack files recursively and scan them. The files can be firmware, binaries, or malware. The main goal is to scan all files and perform classification and labeling. This way each file can be further analyzed based on the characteristics.

        Project details

        Binary Analysis Next Generation is written in Python.

        Strengths and weaknesses

        • + The source code of this software is available
        • - No releases on GitHub available

        Typical usage

        • Binary analysis
        • Malware analysis
        • Malware scanning

        Binary Analysis Next Generation review

        64

        MalPipe

        Introduction

        MalPipe is a modular malware and indicator collection and processing framework. It is designed to pull information about malware, domains, URLs, and IP addresses from multiple feeds. Finally, it will enrich the collected data and export the results.

        Project details

        MalPipe is written in Python.

        Strengths and weaknesses

        • + The source code of this software is available
        • - No releases on GitHub available

        Typical usage

        • Data enrichment
        • Data processing
        • Intrusion detection
        • Malware analysis
        • Malware detection

        MalPipe review

        64

        Mal Tindex

        Introduction

        Mal Tindex is a tool that performs binary analysis on malware samples. It analyzes the binaries it is provided to learn about the specifics of each malware sample that makes them unique. This way data can be gathered that may provide background information. For example, it could provide the attribution of a particular actor or malware campaign.

        Project details

        Mal Tindex is written in Python.

        Strengths and weaknesses

        • + The source code of this software is available

          Typical usage

          • Malware analysis
          • Malware research

          Mal Tindex review

          60

          YaraGuardian

          Introduction

          YaraGuardian provides a web-based interface that helps to manage Yara rules. It can be used to search, organize, and bulk-edit rules. The tool also prevents creating duplicate entries, which is a nice additional benefit of this management utility.

          Project details

          YaraGuardian is written in Python.

          Strengths and weaknesses

          • + The source code of this software is available

            Typical usage

            • Malware analysis

            YaraGuardian review

            81

            Malscan

            Introduction

            Malscan is a tool to scan for malicious software (malware) such as viruses, worms, and backdoors. Its goal is to extend ClamAV with more scanning modes and signatures. It targets web servers running Linux, but can also be used on mail servers and desktops.

            Project details

            Malscan is written in shell script.

            Strengths and weaknesses

            • + Used language is shell script
            • + The source code of this software is available

              Typical usage

              • Malware protection
              • Malware scanning

              Malscan review

              78

              Intrigue Core

              Introduction

              Intrigue Core provides a framework to measure the attack surface of an environment. This includes discovering infrastructure and applications, performing security research, and doing vulnerability discovery.

              Intrigue also allows enriching available data and perform OSINT research (open source intelligence). The related scans include DNS subdomain brute-forcing, email harvesting, IP geolocation, port scanning, and using public search engines like Censys, Shodan, and Bing.

              Project details

              Intrigue Core is written in Ruby.

              Strengths and weaknesses

              • + More than 500 GitHub stars
              • + The source code of this software is available

                Typical usage

                • Asset discovery
                • Attack surface measurement
                • Intelligence gathering
                • OSINT research
                • Penetration testing
                • Security assessment

                Intrigue Core review

                89

                LMD

                Introduction

                LMD uses MD5 file hashes and HEX pattern matches to define the malware signatures. These are used to detect malware.

                Project details

                LMD is written in shell script.

                Strengths and weaknesses

                • + The source code of this software is available

                  Typical usage

                  • Malware scanning

                  LMD review

                  93

                  Loki

                  Introduction

                  Loki is security tool to find so-called indicators of compromise (IOC). It does this by scanning files and then uses pattern matching.

                  Project details

                  Loki is written in Python.

                  Strengths and weaknesses

                  • + More than 10 contributors
                  • + Commercial support available
                  • + More than 500 GitHub stars
                  • + The source code of this software is available

                    Typical usage

                    • Digital forensics
                    • Intrusion detection
                    • Security monitoring

                    Loki review

                    85

                    Maltrail

                    Introduction

                    Maltrail monitors for traffic on the network that might indicate system compromise or other bad behavior. It is great for intrusion detection and monitoring.

                    Project details

                    Maltrail is written in Python.

                    Strengths and weaknesses

                    • + More than 10 contributors
                    • + More than 2000 GitHub stars
                    • + The source code of this software is available

                      Typical usage

                      • Intrusion detection
                      • Network analysis
                      • Security monitoring

                      Maltrail review

                      59

                      Rootkit Hunter (rkhunter)

                      Introduction

                      Rootkit Hunter is a small utility to find suspicious rootkit components. Other known backdoors or malicious software can also be discovered, especially if it has the goal to hide.

                      The tool uses different ways to hunt, like using predefined directory locations and comparing the output of system utilities. Another method is by requesting a specific output and see if this output is altered, therefore tricking rootkits to reveal themselves.

                      Project details

                      Rootkit Hunter is written in shell script.

                      Strengths and weaknesses

                      • + Used language is shell script
                      • + Project is mature (10+ years)
                      • + The source code of this software is available

                        Typical usage

                        • Malware detection
                        • Malware scanning

                        Rootkit Hunter review

                        89

                        Cutter

                        Introduction

                        Cutter is a graphical user interface for radare2, the well-known reverse engineering framework. It focuses on those who are not familiar enough with radare2, or rather have a graphical interface instead of the command-line interface that radare2 provides.

                        Project details

                        Cutter is written in C++, Qt.

                        Strengths and weaknesses

                        • + More than 50 contributors
                        • + More than 3000 GitHub stars
                        • + The source code of this software is available

                          Typical usage

                          • Binary analysis
                          • Malware analysis
                          • Reverse engineering

                          Cutter review

                          74

                          LIEF

                          Introduction

                          LIEF is short for Library to Instrument Executable Formats.

                          Project details

                          LIEF is written in Python.

                          Strengths and weaknesses

                          • + The source code of this software is available

                            Typical usage

                            • Binary analysis
                            • Malware analysis
                            • Reverse engineering

                            LIEF review

                            78

                            PyREBox

                            Introduction

                            PyREBox is short for Python scriptable Reverse Engineering Sandbox. It provides dynamic analysis and debugging capabilities of a running QEMU virtual machine. The primary usage is the analysis of running processes to perform reverse engineering. PyREBox can change parts of the running system by changing data in memory or within processor registers.

                            Project details

                            PyREBox is written in C++, Python.

                            Strengths and weaknesses

                            • + The source code of this software is available

                              Typical usage

                              • Binary analysis
                              • Malware analysis
                              • Reverse engineering

                              PyREBox review

                              100

                              radare2

                              Introduction

                              Radare2 is a popular framework to perform reverse engineering on many different file types. It can be used to analyze malware, firmware, or any other type of binary files. Besides reverse engineering, it can be used for forensics on filesystems and do data carving. Tasks can be scripted and support languages like JavaScript, Go, and Python. Even software exploitation is one of the functions it can be used in.

                              Project details

                              radare2 is written in C.

                              Strengths and weaknesses

                              • + More than 500 contributors
                              • + More than 8000 GitHub stars
                              • + Many releases available
                              • + The source code of this software is available

                                Typical usage

                                • Digital forensics
                                • Reverse engineering
                                • Software exploitation
                                • Troubleshooting

                                radare2 review

                                59

                                chkrootkit

                                Introduction

                                The chkrootkit tool consists of multiple parts that may detect the presence of rootkit parts of rootkit behavior on a system.

                                Some areas that are checked include:

                                • interface in promiscuous mode
                                • lastlog deletions
                                • wtmp deletions
                                • wtmpx deletions
                                • signs of LKM trojans
                                • utmp deletions

                                Project details

                                chkrootkit is written in C, shell script.

                                Strengths and weaknesses

                                • + Used language is shell script
                                • + Project is mature (10+ years)
                                • - Long time between releases

                                Typical usage

                                • Malware detection
                                • Malware scanning

                                chkrootkit review

                                100

                                ClamAV

                                Introduction

                                ClamAV is a popular tool to detect malicious software or malware. While it calls itself an antivirus engine, it probably won't encounter many viruses, as they have become rare. It is more likely to find other forms of malware like worms, backdoors, and ransomware. ClamAV can be used in a few ways, from doing an occasional scan up to scanning in batch. ClamAV does not do on-access scanning but can be combined with other tools to obtain similar functionality. ClamAV is often used to support scanning incoming emails for malicious content.

                                Project details

                                ClamAV is written in C.

                                Strengths and weaknesses

                                • + Many maintainers
                                • + The source code of this software is available

                                  Typical usage

                                  • Malware analysis
                                  • Malware detection
                                  • Malware scanning

                                  ClamAV review

                                  60

                                  Dagda

                                  Introduction

                                  The main reasons to use Dagda is the detection of vulnerable or malicious components within your containerized environment.

                                  Project details

                                  Dagda is written in Python.

                                  Strengths and weaknesses

                                  • + The source code of this software is available

                                    Typical usage

                                    • Malware detection
                                    • Malware scanning
                                    • Vulnerability management
                                    • Vulnerability scanning

                                    Dagda review

                                    100

                                    MISP

                                    Introduction

                                    MISP collects, stores, and distributes security indicators and discovered threats. This makes the platform useful for those involved with security incidents and malware research. Users benefit from having a well-tested platform to structure the vast number of data points available when it comes to security threats. The tooling allows interaction with other tools, like security incident and event management (SIEM) and intrusion detection systems (IDS).

                                    Project details

                                    MISP is written in PHP.

                                    Strengths and weaknesses

                                    • + More than 50 contributors
                                    • + The source code of this software is available

                                      Typical usage

                                      • Fraud detection
                                      • Information gathering
                                      • Threat hunting

                                      MISP review

                                      52

                                      Samba-VirusFilter

                                      Introduction

                                      On-access antivirus filter for Samba to detect malware threats and prevent them from investing file shares.

                                      Project details

                                      Strengths and weaknesses

                                      • + The source code of this software is available

                                        Samba-VirusFilter review

                                        100

                                        Veil Framework

                                        Introduction

                                        Veil is a security tool designed to generate payloads for Metasploit that help in bypassing common anti-virus solutions.

                                        Project details

                                        60

                                        PHP Malware Finder

                                        Introduction

                                        PHP Malware Finder is a tool to find malicious PHP scripts. This threat is common for most web hosters and websites of their customers.

                                        Project details

                                        PHP Malware Finder is written in shell script.

                                        Strengths and weaknesses

                                        • + More than 500 GitHub stars
                                        • + The source code of this software is available

                                          Typical usage

                                          • Malware scanning

                                          PHP Malware Finder review

                                          Some relevant tool missing as an alternative to YARA? Please contact us with your suggestion.