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Malicious Mobile Code-Virus Protection for Windows

by Roger Grimes

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About Book

Defending Microsoft Windows against viruses requires careful attention to emerging technical alerts and diligence in installing manufacturers' latest patches and upgrades. You'll do a better job of keeping Windows secure if you have a body of background knowledge about security weaknesses in Windows and familiarity with good security practices. That, for the most part, is what Malicious Mobile Code is about. Roger Grimes shares facts, tells stories, and reveals technical details that will make you realize how serious a threat is posed by malicious mobile code (a catch-all term Grimes uses to describe viruses, Trojans, and the like). Further, his exposition will likely motivate you to take the precautions he recommends.

Some of Grimes's advice is by now obvious (don't run executable files that arrive attached to e-mail messages), but a lot of it will be news to Windows users and even system administrators. For example, he goes into considerable detail on how BackOrifice works, with particular attention to how black-hat hackers use it to build networks of compromised machines that they can use in further attacks. He's liberal with defensive advice, as well, describing how to adjust the settings of your browser, instant messaging client, and other software to stave off attacks. There's much discussion of Registry manipulation, too. More coverage of risks specific to Windows 2000 (and Windows XP, which isn't covered here at all) would make this book better, but since many attacks are generic to 32-bit Windows environments, Grimes's work remains current. --David Wall

Topics covered: Viruses, Trojans, worms, and other nasties--particularly those that can be distributed with e-mail messages, Web pages, or instant messaging tools--that can disable Microsoft Windows, or turn control of it over to unauthorized hackers. Coverage is explanatory, in a "know your enemy" sort of way, and includes lots of defensive strategies.

Book Description
Malicious mobile code is a new term to describe all sorts of destructive programs: viruses, worms, Trojans, and rogue Internet content. Until fairly recently, experts worried mostly about computer viruses that spread only through executable files, not data files, and certainly not through email exchange. The Melissa virus and the Love Bug proved the experts wrong, attacking Windows computers when recipients did nothing more than open an email. Today, writing programs is easier than ever, and so is writing malicious code. The idea that someone could write malicious code and spread it to 60 million computers in a matter of hours is no longer a fantasy. The good news is that there are effective ways to thwart Windows malicious code attacks, and author Roger Grimes maps them out in Malicious Mobile Code: Virus Protection for Windows. His opening chapter on the history of malicious code and the multi-million dollar anti-virus industry sets the stage for a comprehensive rundown on today's viruses and the nuts and bolts of protecting a system from them. He ranges through the best ways to configure Windows for maximum protection, what a DOS virus can and can't do, what today's biggest threats are, and other important and frequently surprising information. For example, how many people know that joining a chat discussion can turn one's entire computer system into an open book? Malicious Mobile Code delivers the strategies, tips, and tricks to secure a system against attack. It covers:

  • The current state of the malicious code writing and cracker community
  • How malicious code works, what types there are, and what it can and cannot do
  • Common anti-virus defenses, including anti-virus software
  • How malicious code affects the various Windows operating systems, and how to recognize, remove, and prevent it
  • Macro viruses affecting MS Word, MS Excel, and VBScript
  • Java applets and ActiveX controls
  • Enterprise-wide malicious code protection
  • Hoaxes
  • The future of malicious mobile code and how to combat such code
These days, when it comes to protecting both home computers and company networks against malicious code, the stakes are higher than ever. Malicious Mobile Code is the essential guide for securing a system from catastrophic loss.



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