A Short Course on Computer Viruses (Wiley Professional Computing) 2nd Edition

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471007685
ISBN-10: 0471007684
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Paperback, April 20, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It is rare in the computer world to find someone both technically and verbally adept. It is even rarer to find yourself laughing out loud when reading a computer text. Fred Cohen is not only a pioneer in the field of virus research, but also a superb storyteller. Cohen provides an engaging account of viruses, his early experiments, and his struggle to convince security experts that viruses are a real threat. In one of his most memorable anecdotes, Cohen describes a visit to a security trade show where--to the dismay of the experts--he swiftly demonstrates how even the lowest level employee has the ability to breach the system's defenses. As an expert in the field, he is often given credit for coining the term "computer virus." In fact, his famous 1984 paper brought about the first real interest in viruses from both researchers--and unfortunately--virus creators. A Short Course on Computer Viruses is largely theoretical in nature, and while Cohen does not discuss the commercial anti-virus packages, he does explain how they work and what their limitations are.

From the Back Cover

From the reviews of the first edition "Cohen has been writing and speaking on viruses since they were just glimmerings in the eyes of … minded computer scientists. And, as a … minded scientist himself, Dr. Cohen does know his stuff." —EXE Magazine "This book is fun to read (a rarity in this field) and seemingly near faultless in the majority of its conclusions. Considering the author’s considerable achievements, it is also written with admirable modesty." —Virus Bulletin Here is an outstanding opportunity to learn about computer viruses from the internationally acclaimed pioneer in the field who actually coined the phrase "computer virus." This new edition of Cohen’s classic work has been updated and expanded to nearly double its original size and now includes entirely new chapters on LAN viruses, international viruses, and good viruses (including code). As entertaining as it is thorough, the text is enlivened by Cohen’s down-to-earth wit and his many fascinating anecdotes and heretofore unpublished historical facts about viruses. Both broad in its coverage and deep in its consideration, it includes dozens of lucid explanations and examples that amicably guide the reader through the complex, often convoluted subject matter. Hailed as a tour de force, Cohen’s discussion of defensive strategies reveals many of the stumbling blocks that often trip readers up. Among the breakthroughs and exciting new developments you’ll find only in this book are:
  • A new analysis of the epidemiology of computer viruses
  • New forms of virus evolution that will render most current defenses useless
  • New strategies and tactics in virus defenses
  • New analyses of synergistic effects in attack and defense

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Product Details

  • Series: Wiley Professional Computing
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 20, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471007684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471007685
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,385,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Smith on October 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Fred Cohen did pioneering research work in viruses and this book is a survey of virus technology. The book covers the general topic of malicious software from a solid technical level. The book provides no magic bullets either for stopping viruses nor for writing them (there aren't any), but he nails the technology right on. Sill a worthwhile book even though it predates the popularization of active content like Java and the outbreaks of macro viruses in Office applications.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin D. Peterson on March 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is not about how to write viruses or how to protect yourself from them. It's about the theoretical aspects of viruses. It's a good book. Not great writing, sometimes too difficult theory, leaves out some stuff that could be included now. It's pretty much required reading if you want to really understand how viruses work, not just how to operate your anti virus software, or how to create a new variant of an Outlook virus. It can elevate your thinking about viruses above the specifics of what is going on with today's viruses under today's security models.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
While Cohen did coin the term Computer Virus this book. This book little in the technical application of viruses. Lot on theory that requires a good knowledge of math to follow. While he tries to make light of the Virus problem he does stress it is a problem that must be dealt with. Though he seems to supporr the idea that knowledge of Comp. Virus is a better answer then allow users to blindly deal with viruses. This book would not help you make or even stop a virus. Unless you are solidly ground in math theory of Computer viruses and the use of this theoy in actaul code. This book is more for the Collector of books of this nature or the seroius student.
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