4. Storing human-readable data (blobs)

Blob object is a represantation of unstructured, human-readable (text) data. Simply everything that is non-binary and unparsed.

blob example

What is blob in MWDB?

Usually “Blob” stands for “Binary Large Object”, but in MWDB the meaning is different. Blob represents various data stored in unstructured form that are only simply formatted to be human-readable.

Blobs can also store data that are part of configuration, but are too big to be conveniently represented by JSON value.

The good examples are:

  • bunch of extracted strings

  • injects fetched from C&C for banking malware

  • mail templates for spam bots

  • lists of peers fetched from C&C for P2P botnets

  • raw static configurations if malware keeps them structured (e.g. in XML format)


Before storing a blob, filter out things that are originating from specific execution in sandbox and are not specific for malware operations themselves e.g. random nonces, memory pointers and other noise. This will help you to avoid duplications.

Blob attributes

Blobs are described using the following attributes:

  • Blob name: name of blob file

  • Blob size: size of blob contents

  • Blob type: blob type, classifying type of data (e.g. peers, raw_cfg, strings etc.)

  • Contents: blob contents

  • First seen - timestamp of first blob upload

  • Last seen - timestamp of last blob upload

blob attributes

How to upload blobs?

Just like configurations, blobs are intended to be uploaded by automated systems or scripts, so they can’t be added directly from MWDB UI. Similarly to the configuration upload described in previous chapter (How to upload configuration?), you can push them using mwdb upload blob command or MWDB.upload_blob function or via REST API.

More information about mwdblib can be found in chapter 8. Automating things using REST API and mwdblib.

Embedded blobs

Blobs can be embedded as a part of configuration using in-blob key. This feature is especially useful for config values that are too big to be nicely stored in JSON.


in-blob keys are supported only at the top level keys and can’t be used for values in nested dictionaries.

Embedding new blob

Let’s assume we have a key called raw_cfg that contains long string with whole malware configuration.

    "family": "malwarex",
    "...": "...",
    "raw_cfg": "<really long string with contents>"

If you want to upload the raw_cfg contents as a blob object, wrap contents with in-blob structure like below. Blob reference will be placed under the original (raw_cfg) key.

    "family": "malwarex",
    "...": "...",
    "raw_cfg": {
        "in-blob": {
            "blob_name": "malwarex-raw-configuration",
            "blob_type": "raw_cfg",
            "content": "<really long string with contents>"

in-blob objects are processed as follows:

  • MWDB creates blob objects for all in-blob objects

  • in-blob values are transformed into blob object references. MWDB puts string with object identifier in place of dictionary with blob specification

  • Transformed configuration object is added to MWDB repository.

  • Relationships are added, where uploaded configuration is parent and blobs are children.

in-blob JSON preview in-blob config preview

All upload options passed to the upload request (excluding parent) apply to the added blobs. If you want to set attribute along with configuration upload, attribute will be added to all blob objects as well.

Embedding already uploaded blob

If you want to embed already uploaded blob in the configuration, you can upload configuration with already transformed in-blob objects into references:

    "family": "malwarex",
    "...": "...",
    "raw_cfg": {
        "in-blob": "<blob identifier>"

Searching blob files

The best way to search blob contents is to use blob.content field with wildcards e.g.:


For more information see 7. Advanced search based on Lucene queries.

Blob diffing

Sometimes you may want to visualize content differences between two blobs.

To show blob diff, go to the Blob details and click “Diff with”.

diff with

Then you have to choose a blob you want to compare:

choosing blob to compare

After that you will see the difference between two blobs:

blob diff view

Relationships with configurations

Just like configurations, relationships between blobs and other object types have special meaning:

Config → Blob relations

Config → Blob relationship usually represent data that are:

  • dynamically fetched based on static configuration

  • part of static configuration (previously described in “Embedded blobs” section)

Bankers are parametrized by dynamic configuration containing injects. Spam botnets fetch spam templates. All of these text-like things can be stored as text blobs bound to related static configuration.

Blob → Config relations

Sometimes we are able to parse the dynamically fetched content from C&C, but the process is lossy and we want to store it in both forms:

  • unstructured, but more complete blobs

  • easier to process (structured), but limited configurations

In that case we can upload configuration that represents parsed blob as a child of that blob.

Just like File → Config relations, MWDB has special support for that type of relationship and presents the latest configuration for a given blob along with other blob information.