SparkCognition’s DeepArmor®️ Cybersecurity Product Detects PowerPepper Malware




Dec 08, 2020, 09:00 ET


AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — SparkCognition, the world’s leading industrial artificial intelligence (AI) company, is pleased to announce that its AI-powered cybersecurity product, DeepArmor®️ has proven its ability to detect and defend against the PowerPepper malware before a compromise can occur with a 96.35% confidence level. The DeepArmor product uses SparkCognition’s patented machine learning (ML) technology to defend against zero-day attacks – an approach validated by its ability to prevent the never-before-seen PowerPepper malware from delivering its initial payload.

Executed by hack-for-hire group DeathStalker, PowerPepper is a Windows in-memory PowerShell backdoor that can execute remotely sent shell commands, which aim to steal sensitive business information. Delivered via a malicious Microsoft Word document, PowerPepper tries to evade detection with techniques such as intercepting mouse movements, filtering the client’s media access control addresses, and adapting its execution flow depending on detected antivirus products. Based on initial reports, PowerPepper has targeted hosts in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, with a particular focus on small and medium-sized organizations.

“The threat landscape evolves so rapidly and groups like DeathStalker employ advanced new methods to get to a business’s most sensitive data. This can mean catastrophic consequences for targets if they are not properly secured,” said Sridhar Sudarsan, Chief Technology Officer at SparkCognition. “Using ML to build cybersecurity products like DeepArmor allows users to stay ahead of such threat actors as DeathStalker, stopping malware before it gets the chance to compromise the target.”

Instead of using signatures, heuristics, or rules-based approaches, the DeepArmor product exclusively uses AI to prevent file­-based and in­-memory attacks, enabling it to detect new threats like PowerPepper. By running the indicators of compromise (IOC) through VirusTotal, SparkCognition was able to confirm DeepArmor’s capability to identify and defend against PowerPepper. Through testing a group of 66 engines on a PowerPepper file, as of today, VirusTotal found only 39 other engines were able to detect the malware, with the remaining either allowing the file to go through undetected or unable to process the file at all.

“What is particularly troubling about the PowerPepper threat is the focus on small and medium-sized businesses, who traditionally do not have as robust of a cybersecurity program,” said Sudarsan. “The targeting method is certainly not unique to PowerPepper, but it serves as a timely reminder that even small to mid-sized businesses must employ AI-based cybersecurity solutions like DeepArmor in order to protect their organizations in a comprehensive manner.”

To learn more about DeepArmor, visit

About SparkCognition
We catalyze sustainable growth for our clients throughout the world with proven artificial intelligence (AI) systems, award-winning machine learning technology, and a multinational team of AI thought-leaders. Our clients are trusted with advancing lives, infrastructure, sustainability, and financial systems across the globe. They partner with SparkCognition to understand their industry’s most pressing challenges, analyze complex data, empower decision-making, and transform human and industrial productivity. With our leading-edge artificial intelligence products—Darwin®️, DeepArmor®️, SparkPredict®️, and DeepNLPTM—our clients can adapt to a rapidly changing digital landscape and accelerate their business strategies. To learn more about how SparkCognition’s AI applications can unlock the power in your data, visit

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VP, Marketing Communications


Originally published on PR Newswire.

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