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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Peter Szor
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Superb and exceptional book!


If the phase "a bible of malware" weren't a cliché, I would have used it to describe this book without hesitation. I read a lot of security (and specifically, malware) titles, but I have never seen a book that comprehensive and detailed, period.

The author appears to know _everything_ that was going on in the malicious software space since the 80s (for example, who knew that there were viruses written in DEC's DCL language)... A lot of effort is spent classifying various infection, in-memory, self-protection, payload and other virus strategies. I loved the section on malware self-protection, such as anti-debugging and anti-disassembly tactics and even self-brute-forcing virus code (I never knew there are sooo many of those tricks). Nowhere else I saw the detailed explanation of oligomorphic, polymorphic and metamorphic viruses... Note that while the book does cover the fun historical viruses, its coverage extends all the way to phishing attacks of the 2004-2005.

My other favorite part is the chapter on worms. "Vanilla" viruses often feel like the creatures of the past, and the worms steal all the glory. The other holds a view that worms are just a type of viruses that he justifies fairly well. Indeed, there is no accepted definition of a "worm".

The book is obviously aimed towards virus defense, although both sides are covered in [at times] excruciating detail. The entire part is dedicated to history and technology of virus scanning. Personally, I never saw it covered with that level of detail. Finally, I had a chance to learn what `heuristic detection' means. On the defense side, the book also covers behavior blocking and host intrusion prevention, which has a chance of emerging as the main approaches of virus fighting, supplanting pure signature-based scanning. Similarly fun was a section on network-level defense strategies (such as using ACLs, firewalls, etc).

A surprisingly small chapter covers malicious code analysis techniques. I would have appreciated a more detailed info on using VMware for malware analysis.

Overall, the book is very technical, but (if need be) can be read without diving too deeply into PDP11 assembly  , just to get familiar with all the malware classifications, infection methods and other tricks. Highly recommended for technical security professionals, might also benefit others in IT and beyond. I think it will also fit the textbook profile for an advanced computer security course.

Anton Chuvakin, Ph.D., GCIA, GCIH, GCFA is a Security Strategist with a major security company. He is an author of the book "Security Warrior" and a contributor to "Know Your Enemy II". In his spare time, he maintains his security portal info-secure.org



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, Jon Orwant
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Utterly fantastic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


If you are trying to Learn Perl get Learning Perl, But if you already know it YOU MUST have this book. I write perl for a Living and this book never leaves my desk



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Starting an eBay Business for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Marsha Collier
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Disappointment, but a must have


This book is a must have, but I had expected more. The author gives you a lot of needed advice about shipping, organization, and finding a product. However, if you are looking to find out at what point you go from a hobby seller to one that needs a business lisence, or at what extent your income is tracked by ebay you are out of luck. If you are looking to find success stories of other ebay sellers you are out of luck. In general the book refers you to other web-sites (many of which are very helpful), however many of them are no longer in existance (not the authors fault, just how things are). I recommend this book for a starter, but I suggest you keep your hopes low...I think I'll invest in one of the other ones and see if it is any better...



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alan Cooper
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Interesting Concept But...


Poorly written...redundant...not fully developed. I'm always wary of "experts" that utilize dumbing-down as a means for enlightenment. A few bright spots; personas, prototypes vs product, schemas... I particularly enjoyed the chocolate bribery papagraph [Chimey Ale works better]. Check it out and skim-it from the library--Not worth owning.