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Viruses Revealed Paperback – September 21, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 725 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies (September 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072130903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072130904
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,193,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Hardly a week goes by without news of some malicious program or other playing hob with large numbers of computers somewhere on the Internet. Viruses Revealed shows where computer viruses come from, how they spread, and how you can protect the computers you're responsible for. It recognizes that viruses are inherent in the modern computing environment (which makes it easy to share data among machines) and that there's no absolutely certain way to maintain any degree of usefulness in a computer while eliminating all risk of viral infection. From there, the three authors proceed to make their readers informed participants in a dangerous computing world. They do this by defining terms (like dropper, a program that isn't a virus itself but which serves to install one), explaining concepts (like the difficulties antivirus programs face in detecting Trojan programs), and documenting historical events (infamous viruses of the past--Love Bug, Kournikova, and so on--and why they worked).

To their great credit, the authors go to great lengths to be authoritative. They document pretty much everything they say with references and rarely assume that the reader knows what any but the most basic terms mean. Furthermore, they're modest and don't claim that what they say will save your machines from viral attack. Rather, they say that appropriate defenses will reduce your risk of infection, and solid documentation, backup, and recovery mechanisms will help you halt successful attacks early and recover from them promptly. The prose here is well written and often funny--Viruses Revealed is a big winner. --David Wall

Topics covered: Computer viruses--what they are, where they come from, how they work, and how to deal with them. A combination of case studies and explanatory prose shows how to minimize your virus risk, regardless of what kinds of computers you run.

From the Back Cover

The definitive guide to understanding and protecting against computer viruses

With the growing number of computer virus infections today--and the billions of dollars spent on clean-up efforts--virus protection has become everybody's business. This detailed guide offers full-scale coverage and analysis of the origin, structure, and technology behind the expanding array of computer viruses, and addresses current methods of detection and prevention. By learning exactly how viruses do what they do, you'll better understand how anti-malware technology works--and be able to evaluate and implement practical solutions to protect your system. You'll get insight into the various types of malicious software--including Trojan horses, macro viruses, and worms--and also learn about virus hoaxes. Real-world case-studies provide you with a first-hand look at viruses in action and the damage they can cause. Thorough, insightful, and lucid, this up-to-date reference is essential reading for everyone--from network professionals and administrators involved in virus protection to the everyday computer user.

For more information, visit

This guide will help you:

  • Get a historical overview of the emergence and evolution of computer viruses
  • Learn about the anatomy of viruses--including worms and Trojans
  • Examine different virus types and infection mechanisms--macro and script viruses, stealth viruses, and others
  • Understand the specifics of virus activity and operation
  • Identify good sources for virus information and risk assessment
  • Implement corporate defensive strategies and systems
  • Gain insight into social and legal aspects of data protection
  • Discover how to practice safer computing

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tim Coppedge on August 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I really had trouble reading this book. It isn't very well written and it felt that most of it had been gleaned from the internet, edited, bound and published. The book sensationalizes viruses and other malicious code, while the actual threat from viruses has decreased significantly.
Fewer sophisticated viruses are released every year. The average worm or email virus that is written by some disgruntled teenager just isn't sophisticated enough to be worried about, and fewer proficient programmers are producing malicious code (the stakes are too high).
As a technically proficient person, I found the book boring and, condescending. The authors went on and on, were not concise, and didn't "reveal" anything that even a computer savvy 16 year old wouldn't already know. At the same time the confused writing, will only serve to baffle novices.
In short, I doubt the experience and expertise of the writers, and the book is poorly written. Save your money, install virus protection on your computer and keep it updated. That will protect you, this book will not.
If you want reliable information about malicious code then try:
1) Malicious Mobile Code: Virus Protection for Windows,
2) Know Your Enemy: Revealing the Security Tools, Tactics, and Motives of the Blackhat Community
3) E-mail Virus Protection Handbook : Protect your E-mail from Viruses, Tojan Horses, and Mobile Code Attacks
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
After giving up on Robert Slade's incomprehensible "Guide to Computer Viruses," I was hoping for a better read on the subject with his new tome. No such luck. Slade is an amateur writer in every sense, and his sticky fingerprints (i.e., poorly constructed sentences and self-serving essays) are all over this wood pulp. The three authors (yeah, Slade must've realized that he couldn't hack out another alone) couldn't decide whether to target this how-to manual for would-be hackers toward the novice or the pro. They wanted it both ways and, in the process, manage to offend both audiences with their dense technical ramblings interwoven with condescending explanations for the grade-schoolers. YAWN! Skip this one, my friends. For a much more informative -- and practical -- look at viruses, worms, etc., check out Roger Grimes' "Malicious Mobile Code."
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dan Ronco on November 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Viruses Revealed" is a comprehensive review of the subject, written from the perspective of a security professional. If you're searching for an in-depth understanding of virus programming, keep looking. But if you're a system administrator or technology manager responsible for minimizing risk, then this is an important reference to study. I'd also recommend this book to any IT professional who wants to develop a good overview of virus technology.
The authors really know their field and they have a bit of an attitude, but it's generally amusing. They assume the reader has a modest technical background and carefully cover the fundamentals, provide a brief historical overview, then dive into virus structures and mechanisms. Good stuff, but you've seen much of it before, so pick and choose. The next section - a good overview of management solutions - is worthwhile. Then the authors select a representative sample of the better-known viruses roughly in the chronological order they were released. Each virus is discussed, but the value of such a lengthy section eludes me. Another place to pick and choose. Finally, the authors examine non-technical (social) aspects, such as social engineering, legal issues, ethics and so on. No light bulbs went off, but it's useful information.
Excellent overview of the field, but not worth reading cover to cover unless you're new to the subject. The authors should have culled out much of the repetitive information and tightened the rest. "Viruses Revealed" is good, but pick your spots.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
The quotes in the front of the book say it all, "Viruses Revealed is the most complete compilation of information on computer viruses, worms, trojans, and general malware that I have ever seen." This book covers every aspect of malware, from the history and evolution of computer viruses to defending your system against the impending threat. The authors carefully identify fallacies and misconceptions, which other books miss, and by separating fact from fiction, they provide the reader with a clear understanding of the necessary system solutions. I have purchased several books on computer viruses, and in most cases, they were unreadable and/or inaccurate. This book is both interesting and thoughtful, and it is the only book that I would recommend on computer viruses.
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