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May 2005

Secure Reads: The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense

The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense By Peter Szor 713 pages, $49.99 Symantec Press @exb The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense @exe Need a deep, technical understanding of virus and antivirus technology? Weighing in at more than 700 pages, Virus Research and Defense is the literal "brain dump" of Peter Szor, a renowned virus expert. Nothing else even comes close in terms of giving the reader the ultimate in virus analysis theory and practice. The book is split into the familiar dichotomy: attack methods and defense methods. In the first section, Szor sets the stage for his epic work, not only providing the computer science and mathematical theories underlying computer viruses (e.g., John von Neumann's automata models), but also recounting their history starting with the "Creeper" virus in the early 1970s. "Species" of viruses--each dedicated a separate section--are organized in a logical hierarchy. For example, Szor divides the chapter on "Classification of Infection Strategies" into three basic sections: boot...

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