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Malicious Mobile Code by Roger A. Grimes

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Chapter 3. Windows Technologies

Many PC users thought Microsoft Windows would spell the end of, or at least decrease, the amount of computer viruses. And while Windows initially made the job of writing malicious mobile code (MMC) harder, even DOS viruses haven’t received a knockout punch. Microsoft has always maintained a strong commitment to DOS-compatibility in Windows in order to run older applications. Customers demand it. That legacy obligation, coupled with the newer data and application-sharing features, have made it easier than ever for warped code writers to create and distribute malicious programs. With every release, Microsoft makes Windows more network-aware, easier to program in, and extendable. This ease of use has often been at the expense of security. Damaging file and operating system manipulations can be accomplished remotely with a minimal amount of effort. Viruses written 10 years ago have no problem destroying Windows 98 or NT, although Windows 2000 is starting to make the job harder.

Chapter 3 begins a two-chapter discussion of Windows and (DOS and Windows) viruses in a Windows environment. In this chapter, the Windows operating systems and their related technologies are covered, including Windows 2000™ and Windows ME™. To understand MMC in a Windows environment, you must understand the key differences between the different platforms. You will probably learn more about the innards of Windows than you bargained for. Chapter 4 builds upon that knowledge by discussing ...

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