There are many sources for virus information; some are even accurate.
You can also check other anti-virus software vendor sites for their latest alerts and, if you have time and bandwidth to spare join their mailing lists as well. The tutorial has a list of anti-virus software vendors.
One good general information source is the About.com anti-virus site. It has links to software and information that can help you. The Guide at that site keeps the information fresh…
There are several usenet newsgroups dedicated to computer viruses. Of these, comp.virus is the best largely because it is moderated by virus experts so the trash postings are suppressed. Unfortunately, the moderator(s) have not been able to process messages very often and so the newsgroup has been quiet for a long time now. The alt.comp.virus newsgroup is often active as an alternative but there are a considerable number of posts in the group that offer either no benefit or are just plain wrong. Use caution if you read alt.comp.virus or any of the other related alt groups.
There are many more sources of information listed in the alt.comp.virus FAQ. It’s posted regularly to alt.comp.virus and comp.virus.
Specific Virus Descriptions
Some anti-virus vendor sites have databases describing specific viruses in varying detail. Check the FAQ link just above for some links or check the AVP, Data Fellows, Symantec, and McAfee vendors sites (click on the anti-virus software link).
Different vendors sometimes have different names for the same virus. If you can’t find a particular virus on one site, check another. You can also check the Virus GREP database which attempts to cross reference all the different virus names. See:
Books which may be of use (a few of these are somewhat dated but still of some value for learning the basics):
- Viruses Revealed by David Harley, Urs E. Gattiker, Robert Slade Paperback-400 pages (August 2001) Osborne McGraw-Hill
- Bigelow’s Virus Troubleshooting Pocket Reference by Ken Dunham Paperback-267 pages 1st edition (August 7, 2000) McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
- Malicious Mobile Code: Virus Protection for Windows (O’Reilly Computer Security) by Roger A. Grimes Paperback-542 pages 1 Ed edition (August 2001) O’Reilly & Associates
- E-mail Virus Protection Handbook: Protect your E-mail from Viruses, Tojan Horses, and Mobile Code Attacks by James Stanger Paperback-476 pages (October 30, 2000) Syngress Media Inc
- Virus Proof, 2nd Edition by Phil Schmauder Paperback-350 pages 2nd Bk&cdr edition (July 20, 2000) Premier Press, Inc.
- The Virus Creation Labs : A Journey into the Underground by George Smith Paperback (December 1994) Amer Eagle Pubns
- Robert Slade’s Guide to Computer Viruses: How to Avoid Them, How to Get Rid of Them, and How to Get Help by Robert Slade Paperback-422 pages 2nd Bk&Dk edition (June 1996) Springer Verlag
- Computers Under Attack: Intruders, Worms, and Viruses by Peter J. Denning (Editor) Paperback-13 pages (December 1990) Addison-Wesley
- A Short Course on Computer Viruses (Wiley Professional Computing) by Frederick B. Cohen Paperback-288 pages 2nd edition (April 1994) John Wiley & Sons
No matter where you get your information, be certain you know the qualifications of the source. Something called the False Authority Syndrome often applies when it comes to virus information.
The feeds here are provided by the sites mentioned and the information content belongs to those sites.
Threats RSS Feed - Symantec Corp.
Accurate and up-to-date information on the latest threats. A Threat is an application with the potential to cause harm to a system in the form of destruction, disclosure, data modification, and/or Denial of Service (DoS).
- Anti-virus vendor sites are a good source of continuing information.
- Follow discussions on the newsgroups with great care.
- Know the qualifications of sources from which you get information.
Thank you for your attention. That’s the end of the tutorial itself. The remaining pages are stand-alone pages linked to by various other pages in the tutorial.
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