It’s all about packers
A more challenging result was found in the benign files from the 20,000 top-ranked websites according to Alexa.com, where we were able to see that 0.5% of files also used packer obfuscation techniques. Further inspection reveals that the obfuscation being used is the result of various legitimate scenarios, including:
Websites that are trying to conceal some of their client-side code functionality
Code that was obfuscated by a third-party provider
The obfuscation of sensitive information like email addresses
In the threat landscape, the ongoing tension between cybercriminals and defensive forces means that every millisecond counts, and the availability of limited resources plays a critical role.
As the scale of malware and phishing threats continues to expand, obfuscation might result in the need for more time and resources, which might lead to missed detection — making attacks more effective and valuable to cybercriminals.