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Malware Defense History

by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov.

Copyright: Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov 1994-2013. Unpublished notes. Version 0.80.October, 2013

Contents : Foreword : Ch01 : Ch02 : Ch03  : Ch04 : Ch05 : Ch06 : Ch07 : Ch08 : Ch09 : Ch10 : Ch11 : Ch12 : Ch13


Skeptical Foreword

The preoccupation with computer "hacking"
is a way for physically unattractive males
to enter the mainstream of society.
Anonymous

There is general law that the more particular organism is adapted to particular environment, the more sensitive it is to even slightest changes of this environment. This law holds for malware and is exploration of its action in historical context is one of the reasons of writing this book. Change of environment is often deadly for malware. Like any highly specialized organism it is very sensitive to slightest changes in OS or in case they use TCP/IP network configuration.

Proliferation on Windows-based malware (like DOS viruses in the past) is to a certain extent a byproduct of Microsoft’s dominance in personal computers. MS-DOS, the first mass produced operating system for the first mass produced computer, is amazingly virus friendly. Essentially each new generation of computers leads to the creation and widespread adoption) of certain new types of programs. Here, Microsoft certainly made a significant contribution and it’s not accidental that among several new widespread programs that came to light, due to the PC revolution, were computer viruses.

Similarity the mass penetration of Windows created a new base for malware and such types of malware as spyware and extortionware parasite on a huge, multimillion mass of entry-level users with Windows-based computers.

At the same time Microsoft platform provides users with unique advantages and opportunities and malware problem are to certain externalities of popularity and power of the dominant platform. In reality the cost of AV protection is a part of the cost of the ownership of the Microsoft platform that should be viewed as such..

One interesting problem here is how to make Windows PC more resistant to malware without relying of signature updates from Microsoft or other anti-malware vendors. Not the Microsoft Security Essentials are bad: it is free and well tested malware scanner, but there should be other, better ways to protect PC. This problem of making DOS and later Windows immune to malware infections (or at least particular, prevalent now) infections is the main research interest of the author in this field. The author worked on it on and off since late 1988, so almost 25 years.

We can define several types of computer science research problems connected with "inreseing the immunity" of the Windows to malware.

Of course the volume of information about malware and antiviral programs is well beyond the capabilities of any single person. So despite the fact that the author checked all the facts, one needs to access information provided critically. It can and probably does contain errors.

This is an introductory book, but not a "for dummies" book. This book presupposes some level of understanding of the malware problem, assembler language and operating system and applications used by malware. It is partially based on my Russian language book Computer Virology that was published in 1991, but I am too lazy to translate all this old material and this book is considerably shorter and more superficial that the old one.  Some new types of malware that were not existent in 1991 were added but it is amusing to see how the development of Windows malware repeats the path of DOS malware on a new technological level.  One interesting nuance is that there is some government interest in using malware as a cyber weapon, the development that started probably around 1996-1998.

Again those chapters are actually pretty raw unpublished notes and should be treated as such.

Still due to the lack of objective/skeptical information about anti-malware protection I feel that it make sense to put on the WEB my notes "as is".  I just hope that some provided information and, especially, the angle of attacking the problem might be useful.

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov


Webliography



Etc

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ABUSE: IPs or network segments from which we detect a stream of probes might be blocked for no less then 90 days. Multiple types of probes increase this period.  

Society

Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy

Quotes

War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes

Bulletin:

Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

History:

Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least


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Last modified: July 07, 2013