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Combating Viruses, Beyond the PC

Combating Viruses, Beyond the PC

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Published by vaibvhav

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Published by: vaibvhav on Dec 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/11/2014

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Combating Viruses, Beyond the PC
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By now most users are aware of the need to implement antivirus software on individual
 .
systems But a large percentage of the hardware and software used to provide something
 .
for those users to use resides outside them What are they and what can be done to
 ?
protect them from virus attacks
- , , -,
Computer viruses attack servers web file ftp and e mail along with routers and othe
 - '.
network gear along with individual PCs
 
' ,
Servers are usually substantially the same as PCs only with more memory disk space
 . , -
and processors Web servers house web pages and programs for Internet users e mail
 , -,
servers store send and receive e mail and file and ftp servers make possible storage
 .
and distribution of all manner of files for other systems Routers are simply specialized
 , , .
computers with proprietary operating systems for routing network traffic
'
Most operate much like an individuals system and are subject to the same kinds of 
 . -
attacks They can therefore be protected by many of the same means regular use of 
 
reliable antivirus software and being firewall guarded to shut down vulnerable entry points
 .
on the Internet
?
What else can be done
, ,
Since servers and routers provide services to multiple sometimes thousands of user 
 ' .
systems theyre more frequently attacked Users can help administrators of these systems
 
by keeping their own systems clean and refraining from passing on viruses to others
 .
across them Administrators can help themselves by forgoing the temptation to use them
 - , ,
as personal computers with full e mail clients word processing software and fully
 .
enabled browsers
 
Users can help administrators and themselves by being more careful in browser selection
 . -
and configuration Most could profit from better self education in how to minimize the
 ' ' .
target area for hackers by changing browser settings Users and computer professionals
 .
have made strides in voicing concern over security vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer 
 .
 Adopting other browsers in greater numbers will help to get the message across
' ' '
Users and administrators should avoid using bootable CDs and DVDs that havent been
 .
virus scanned after being burned with desired software and files Sometimes the process
 , .
that creates them propagates viruses just as floppy disks did some years ago
 
, ,
FTP servers used to store and provide sending and receiving of files over networks
 . ( ) '
should become a thing of the past Vanilla ftp File Transfer Protocol cant be secured
 ()
since passwords are passed in clear text unencrypted over the network where they can
 . / .
be picked up by sniffers Sniffers are software and or hardware used to spy on networks
 .
Secure FTP versions should be used instead
.
Users should take an active role in encouraging administrators to lock down systems
 ,
Most admins do a very good job with limited time and resources but security is usually
 .
well down their list of priorities Users who show an interest can alter that in a
 .
constructive way by showing that they care Very few servers have a thorough check by a
 .
skilled security expert at any time in their serviceable lifetimes That would change if 
 ' .
users didnt passively assume by default that everything is fine until things go sour 
 
The Future
 
Microsoft and other large vendors are making strides in designing hardware and software
 ' '. ,
which is better protected out of the box Just as one example one common virus exploit
 ' '. '
is called a buffer overrun Memory is used by all programs and its divided into areas
 .
called buffers of a certain size
-
Hackers use a well known technique for causing malicious program instructions to
 ''
overflow those buffers providing them with more access than the legitimate program
 . .
intended A large percentage of security fixes involves securing these buffers Hardware
 ' '
and operating system designers are addressing this by making buffer overrun a thing of 
 , .
the past through fundamental design changes
. ,
Much more sophisticated ideas are on the drawing board Once they become a reality
 .
everyone will benefit

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