Malware, malicious software written for the purpose of causing computer-related damage, has existed for many years. Only recently have the monetary advantages of perpetrating malware begun to gain interest from increasingly malicious groups. Industry and law enforcement have a difficult and time-consuming job to do with respect to investigating computer-based crimes. The Malware Research Team (MRT) at Purdue University has helped the Indianapolis branch of the FBI locate malware in dozens of computer crime cases, and analyzed that malware using documented and approved standard operating procedures. An ever-increasing number of cases and time constraints have forced the MRT to look for faster, automated methods for malware analysis. This paper explains the limitations of the current process, the design goals of the MRT and details the design of a system that meets these goals. Using a systems development approach, the existing problems and key features of the new system are documented, and use cases, objectives, functional requirements, and logical and physical architectures are described in depth.


malware, design, sdlc, software, development, automation, virtualization, scalability

Date of this Version



Computer and Information Technology

Department Head

Lonnie D. Bentley

Month of Graduation


Year of Graduation



Master of Science in Technology

Head of Graduate Program

Michael D. Kane

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

James E. Goldman

Advisor 2

Jeffrey L. Brewer

Advisor 3

John A. Springer