O'Reilly logo

CISSP For Dummies, 4th Edition by Peter Gregory, Lawrence Miller

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

System Attack Methods

Attackers develop new attack methods as fast as new products and technologies are introduced. It seems as though as soon as something new and cool comes out, only days — or even hours — later, you hear that someone has found a way to attack it.

Malicious code

As soon as data found a way to move easily from computer to computer, a creative individual with a bad attitude figured out that he could include some code that would play a not-so-practical joke, such as delete or alter files on someone else’s computer. And more recently, criminal organizations have figured out that they can steal valuable information — such as bank account numbers and credit card numbers, or the login credentials to high-value sites such as online banking — from peoples’ computers.

Unfortunately, several types of malicious code are out there; we define the most interesting ones here.

Viruses

The main purpose of a computer virus, a (usually) small program, is to replicate itself. Early computer viruses attached themselves to floppy disks’ boot sectors or to executables (such as .com or .exe files). Boot-sector viruses spread if a user booted the PC with an infected diskette. Viruses attached to executable files would spread when a user ran those executable files. Multi-partite viruses spread by using both the boot sector and executable files.

Today, viruses spread in many other ways, including macros found in documents, as well as in image files, JavaScript and ActiveX controls. We’ve ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required