5. Tagging objects

Tags are used for basic object classification, allowing to quickly search for interesting samples in a malware feed.


Tags can be added only if user has the adding_tags capability turned on. Check your capabilities in Profile view.

In mwdb.cert.pl you are allowed to add tags, but you can’t remove them (removing_tags is required). If you see that malware family has not been correctly recognized by mwdb.cert.pl, you can left a comment or set maybe:<family> tag to help us track these issues.

How to use tags?

You can add new tag to the object using Add tag field on the right side of detailed view. Click Add to submit a new tag. Autocompletion will help you explore existing tags to avoid typos or other misspelled duplications.

adding tag

If you want to remove a tag - click on the x placed on the right side of the tag you want to remove.

removing tag

To explore other objects with the same tag, just click on the tag to navigate to the search page. There you can filter in/out other tags to make your search more specific for what you are looking for.

Tags can be added as well using mwdblib library.

from mwdblib import MWDB

FILE_SHA256 = "f60d462..."

mwdb = MWDB(api_key=..., api_url=...)
file_object = mwdb.query_file(FILE_SHA256)

# ["chthonic"]

Built-in tag conventions

Probably you have already noticed that tags are differently colored depending on the prefix. That’s because MWDB has few tag conventions built-in to highlight certain groups of tags.

Simple tags are red. In mwdb.cert.pl they’re mostly used for marking identified malware name.

formbook tag

Tags describing the source are blue (src:, uploader:, feed:). feed: tags are most special, because you can easily filter out all external feed by choosing built-in Exclude feed:* option in Quick query bar.

feed:sample tag

Tags indicating matched malware are yellow (ripped:, contains:). In mwdb.cert.pl we mark the original sample with ripped:<family> tag. Unpacked samples or dumps originating from ripped samples are added as a child and tagged red with malware family name.

ripped:formbook tag


If you want to get only samples that are marked as malicious with high confidence - use Only ripped:* button in Quick query bar.

File types can be additionally classified with another group of gray tags (runnable:, archive:, dump:, script:).

runnable\:win32\:exe tag

Generic tags containing : are cyan. We use them to add some secondary tags fetched from feed or indicating classification result by other systems (e.g. yara:, et:)

yara:win_formbook tag