The NCSA Guide to PC & LAN Security


Stephen Cobb, CISSP

Chapter 9: Secure Code


This chapter is about: Defeating viruses, worms and other malicious code

...the chapter helps you to protect against what is probably the most widely publicized threat to personal computer security: harmful or malicious programs. This is software which can erase files, bring down networks, and waste an awful lot of person power and processing time. If you need immediate assistance with a Virus problem, check out the NCSA Anti-Virus page.

There are several types of malicious program that go by strange names, like viruses, bombs, and worms, grouped together as malicious code, or MC, although each type poses a different threat to the integrity and availability of your data.

  • Virus: a program which, when executed, can add itself to other program, without permission, and in such a way that the infected program, when executed, can add itself to still other programs.
  • Worm: a program which copies itself into nodes in a network, without permission.
  • Trojan: a program which masquerades as a legitimate program, but does something other than what was intended, (as in the deceptive wooden horse used by the Greek army to achieve the fall of Troy).
One of the best places to start researching this subject is the list of anti-virus vendors who form the NCSA Anti-Virus Product Developers' Consortium.

For companies active in this field check out the following Hot Links at NCSA:

The Story So Far

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This page updated by Stephen Cobb, Summer 2002 © Copyright, 1996-2002, Stephen Cobb