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May 2002

The best malware program to defeat unwanted, non-viral code

Antivirus software is a commodity. Almost every company runs AV scanners on client machines, and most have AV at the gateway, too. The assumption is that AV protects us from malicious code, and, by and large, it does. As long as the scanning engine recognizes the viral code, it will stop it before it has a chance to infect your systems. There's a huge category of unwanted code, however, against which AV software is powerless: nonreproducing malware. Electronic burglar tools like password crackers, traffic sniffers, keystroke loggers, data scroungers and remote access Trojans (RATs) are being used by attackers both inside and outside the organization to capture passwords, spy on network traffic, record private communications, and stealthily receive and transmit unauthorized commands to and from remote hosts. End users and even IT staff download the latest P2P or remote access program -- not necessarily a hostile act, but one that nevertheless opens up unauthorized holes in the corporate firewall. Overburdened IT security ...

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