GetLocalTime, GetSystemTime, timeGetTime, NtQueryPerformanceCounter

Created the Monday 18 March 2019. Updated 3 years, 6 months ago.

When a debugger is present, and used to single-step through the code, there is a significant delay between the executions of the individual instructions, when compared to native execution.


Technique Identifiers

U0110 U1308


Code Snippets

bool IsDebugged(DWORD64 qwNativeElapsed)
{
    SYSTEMTIME stStart, stEnd;
    FILETIME ftStart, ftEnd;
    ULARGE_INTEGER uiStart, uiEnd;

    GetLocalTime(&stStart);
    // ... some work
    GetLocalTime(&stEnd);

    if (!SystemTimeToFileTime(&stStart, &ftStart))
        return false;
    if (!SystemTimeToFileTime(&stEnd, &ftEnd))
        return false;

    uiStart.LowPart  = ftStart.dwLowDateTime;
    uiStart.HighPart = ftStart.dwHighDateTime;
    uiEnd.LowPart  = ftEnd.dwLowDateTime;
    uiEnd.HighPart = ftEnd.dwHighDateTime;
    return (uiEnd.QuadPart - uiStart.QuadPart) > qwNativeElapsed;
}

Detection Rules

rule:
  meta:
    name: check for time delay via QueryPerformanceCounter
    namespace: anti-analysis/anti-debugging/debugger-detection
    author: michael.hunhoff@fireeye.com
    scope: function
    mbc:
      - Anti-Behavioral Analysis::Debugger Detection::Timing/Delay Check QueryPerformanceCounter [B0001.033]
    examples:
      - Practical Malware Analysis Lab 16-03.exe_:0x4011e0
  features:
    - and:
      - count(api(kernel32.QueryPerformanceCounter)): 2 or more

Additional Resources

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