Multipartite Viruses infect the boot sector or Master Boot Record and also infect program files.
Such a virus typically has two parts, one for each type.
When it infects an executable, it acts as an executable infector.
When it infects a boot sector, it works as a boot sector infector.
Such viruses come in through infected media and reside in memory then they move on to the boot sector of the hard drive. Form there, the virus infects executable files on the hard drive and spreads across the system.
A well known multipartite virus is Ywinz.
Polymorphic Viruses change their own code each time they duplicate themselves.
In this way, each new copy is a variation of the original virus, in order to evade detection by antivirus software.
Polymorphic viruses encrypt or encode themselves in a different way (using different algorithms and encryption keys) every time they infect a system.
This makes it impossible for antivirus to find them using string or signature searches (because they are different in each encryption) and also enables them to create a large number of copies of themselves.
Some examples include: Elkern, Marburg, Satan Bug, Tuareg and Dark Avenger.
File Viruses infect program files and device drivers by attaching themselves to the program file or by inserting themselves into the program code.
This type of virus infects programs or executable files (files with an .EXE or .COM extension).
When one of these programs is run, directly or indirectly, the virus is activated, producing the damaging effects it is programmed to carry out.
The majorities of existing viruses belong to this category, and can be classified according to the actions that they carry out.
Malicious program that hides within a friendly program
A Trojan horse is a file that appears harmless until executed.
Can erase or overwrite data on a computer
Corrupting files & Spreading other malware, such as viruses. (Trojan horse is called a 'dropper‘)
Installing a backdoor on a computer system.
Trojan Horse (Cont’d)
The Trojan Horse gets its name from Greek history and the story of Trojans war.
Greek warriors hide inside a wooden horse, which the Trojans took within the walls of the city of Troy.
When night fell and the Trojans were asleep, the Greek warrior came out of the horse and open the gates to the city, letting the Greek army enter the gates and destroy the city of Troy.
A program or algorithm that replicates itself over a computer network or through e-mail
Sometimes performs malicious actions such as using up the computer and network resources and possibly destroying data.
Can spread itself over a network, doesn’t need to be sent
Slow down the computer or network
Some examples of worms include:
Klez, Nimda, Code Red, PSWBugbear.B, Lovgate.F, Trile.C, Sobig.D and Mapson.
Two of the most famous viruses to date were
Mellissa, struck in March, 1999,
ILOVEYOU virus, hit in May, 2000
Both viruses cost organization and individuals billion of dollars
Mellissa virus spread in MS Word documents sent via e-mail
When the document was opened, the virus was triggered
Mellissa accessed the MS Outlook address book on that computer and automatically sent the infected Word attachment by e-mail to the first 50 people in the address book. Each time another person opened the attachment, the virus would send out another 50 messages.
The ILOVEYOU virus was sent as an attachment to an e-mail posing as a love letter.
The message in the e-mail said “Kindly check the attached love letter coming from abc”
Famous Viruses (Cont’d)
These viruses corrupt all type of files, including system files.
Network at companies and government organizations world wide were shut down for days trying to remedy the problem.
Estimates for damage caused by the virus were as high as $10 to $15 billion, with the majority of the damage done in just few hours.
In June, 2000, a worm named Timofonica that was propagated via e-mail quickly made its way into the cellular phone network in Spain, sending prank calls and leaving text messages on the phones
Another popular form of attack by hackers is web defacing
Hackers illegally change the content of a Web site
One notable case of Web defacing occurred in 1996 when Swedish hackers changed the Central Intelligence Agency Web site ( www.odci.gov/cia ) to read “Central Stupidity Agency”
Many other popular and large Web sites have been defaced
Protection against viruses
A virus can only spread from one computer to another when its hosts is taken to the uninfected computer, for instance by a user sending it over a network or carrying it on a removable medium such as a floppy disk, CD, or USB drive.
Additionally, viruses can spread to other computes by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer.
Today’s viruses may also take advantage of network services such as the World Wide Web, e-mail and file sharing systems to spread.
If we want to protect our computer from computer viruses than we must have to install Antivirus Software and must update it from internet on regular basis.
Antivirus software consist of computer programs that attempt to identify and eliminate computer viruses and other malicious software (malware).
Antivirus software typically uses two different techniques to accomplish this:
Examining (scanning) files to look for known viruses matching definitions in a virus dictionary.
Identifying suspicious behavior from any computer program which might indicate infection.
Such analysis may include data captures, port monitoring and other methods.
Most commercial antivirus software uses both of these approaches with an emphasis on the virus dictionary approach.
Antivirus Software Options
Available antivirus software solutions. Compare these to see which might meet the needs of your organization.
Aladdin Knowledge Systems - http://www.esafe.com
Frisk Software International - http://www.complex.is
Alwil Software - http://www.avast.com
Kaspersky Lab - http://www.kaspersky.com
AVG Antivirus - http://www.grisoft.com
McAfee - http://www.mcafee.com
Central Command, Inc. - http://www.centralcommand.com
Network Associates, Inc. - http://www.nai.com
Command Software Systems, Inc. - http://www.commandcom.com
Computer Associates International - http://www.cai.com
Panda Software - http://www.pandasoftware.com
Data Fellows Corporation - http://www.datafellows.com
Dr. Solomon's Software, Inc. - http://www.drsolomon.com
ESET Software - http://www.mod32.com
Symantec Corporation - http://www.symantec.com
Finjan Software - http://www.finjan.com
A firewall is software program or device that checks information coming from the Internet or a network, and then either blocks it or allows it to pass through to your computer, depending on your firewall settings.
Protects local area network (LAN) from outside intruders
Prohibit all data not allowed or permit all data not prohibited
Types of firewalls
Rejects all data with local addresses from outside
Examine only source not content
Small metal box filled with plug openings, or ports.
Hook your computer network into the box (just as other peripherals') then set it up on your computer.
Hardware firewalls are typically owned by larger businesses.
Application level firewalls
Attempt to scan data
Help block computer viruses and worms from reaching your computer.
Detect or disable computer viruses and worms if they are already on your computer.
Ask for your permission to block or unblock certain connection requests.
Some software firewall also include parental controls to manage what kind of websites the children visit.
Some package will also allow you to block photos and specific text content that you do not want your children to view.
Kerberos is a computer network authentication protocol, which allows nodes communicating over a non-secure network to prove their identity to one another in a secure manner.
Uses symmetric secret-key cryptography to authenticate users in a network
Freely available, open source protocol developed by MIT.
Biometrics is an authentication and security techniques
Uses unique personal information to identify
Recognize or verify an individual’s identity.
Examples are fingerprints, eyeball iris scans or face scans, voice-recognition might be used to enable access to a computer, to a room, or to an electronic commerce account
Steganography (covered writing)
Practice of hiding information within other information
Hides existence of message
Using only a subset of letters/words in a longer message marked in some way
For example, if you want to tell your stock broker to buy, vs sell a stock and your message must be transmitted over insecure channel, you could send the message “BURIED UNDER YARD” if you have agreed in advance that your message is hidden in the first letter of each word, the stock broker picks these letters off and sees “BUY”.
An increasing popular application of Steganography is digital watermarking.
Hidden within documents and can be shown to prove ownership
Example of a conventional watermark
Example: A German spy sent the following “harmless” message in WWII
Apparently neutral’s protest is thoroughly discounted and ignored. Isman hard hit. Blockade issue affects pretext for embargo on by-products, ejecting suets and vegetable oils.
If we extract the 2 nd letter in each word, we get:
A p parently n e utral’s p r otest i s t h oroughly d i scounted a n d i g nored. I s man h a rd h i t. B l ockade i s sue a f fects p r etext f o r e m bargo o n b y -products, e j ecting s u ets a n d v e getable o i ls.