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Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense, The by Peter Szor

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Chapter 10. Exploits, Vulnerabilities, and Buffer Overflow Attacks

“ Greater is our terror of the unknown.”

—Titus Livius

10.1 Introduction

Exploits, vulnerabilities1, and buffer overflow techniques2 have long been used by malicious hackers and virus writers. Until recently, however, these techniques were not commonplace. The CodeRed3, 4 worm was a major shock to the antivirus industry because it was the first worm that spread not as a file but solely in memory by utilizing a buffer overflow in Microsoft IIS. Many antivirus companies were unable to provide protection against CodeRed, while other companies with a wider focus on security could provide solutions—to the relief of end users.

Usually new techniques are picked up and used by copycat ...

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