Malicious Link Files

malware analysis link files
Malware authors are implementing malicious link files into their campaigns more and more. This analysis video will detail how to quickly analyze two different types.

How to Analyze a Malicious Microsoft Windows Operating System Link File

Malicious Microsoft Windows operating system link files, or LNK files, can be dangerous when executed on a Windows computer, as they can infect the system with malware. To prevent such a scenario, it's important to analyze LNK files to understand their behavior and potential impact. In this blog post, we'll provide a brief overview of how to analyze a malicious LNK file using hex editors and file properties.

Step 1: Obtain the Malicious LNK File

The first step in analyzing a malicious LNK file is to obtain the file. You can download the file from an infected system or receive it from a trusted third-party source. It's important to ensure that the file is stored and analyzed on a secure, isolated system to prevent the malware from spreading to other systems.

Step 2: Examine the Properties of the LNK File

The next step is to examine the properties of the LNK file. This can be done by right-clicking on the file and selecting "Properties." The Properties window will display information such as the file name, size, date modified, and file type. You should pay attention to any suspicious information, such as an unusually large file size or a file type that is not typical for LNK files.

Step 3: Analyze the LNK File with a Hex Editor

The next step is to analyze the LNK file with a hex editor. A hex editor is a tool that allows you to view and edit binary data. By using a hex editor, you can view the hexadecimal representation of the LNK file and examine the individual bytes that make up the file.

One common technique used by malware authors is to hide malicious code within the data of the LNK file. By analyzing the hex code, you may be able to identify suspicious patterns or sequences of bytes that indicate the presence of malware.

Step 4: Reverse Engineer the Malware

Finally, the last step in analyzing a malicious LNK file is to reverse engineer the malware. This involves decompiling the binary code of the LNK file to identify the source code and understand how the malware operates. This step can be quite challenging, as malware authors often use obfuscation techniques to make the code difficult to understand.


Analyzing a malicious Microsoft Windows operating system link file can help to identify the type of malware, its capabilities, and potential impact on the system. By using hex editors and examining the properties of the LNK file, you can identify any suspicious information or patterns within the file. As always, it's important to ensure that all malware analysis is conducted on a secure and isolated system to prevent the malware from spreading to other systems.