Crimeware: Understanding New Attacks and Defenses

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9780321501950: Crimeware: Understanding New Attacks and Defenses

“This book is the most current and comprehensive analysis of the state of Internet security threats right now. The review of current issues and predictions about problems years away are critical for truly understanding crimeware. Every concerned person should have a copy and use it for reference.”

—Garth Bruen, Project KnujOn Designer

 

There’s a new breed of online predators—serious criminals intent on stealing big bucks and top-secret information—and their weapons of choice are a dangerous array of tools called “crimeware.” With an ever-growing number of companies, organizations, and individuals turning to the Internet to get things done, there’s an urgent need to understand and prevent these online threats.

 

Crimeware: Understanding New Attacks and Defenses will help security professionals, technical managers, students, and researchers understand and prevent specific crimeware threats. This book guides you through the essential security principles, techniques, and countermeasures to keep you one step ahead of the criminals, regardless of evolving technology and tactics. Security experts Markus Jakobsson and Zulfikar Ramzan have brought together chapter contributors who are among the best and the brightest in the security industry. Together, they will help you understand how crimeware works, how to identify it, and how to prevent future attacks before your company’s valuable information falls into the wrong hands. In self-contained chapters that go into varying degrees of depth, the book provides a thorough overview of crimeware, including not only concepts prevalent in the wild, but also ideas that so far have only been seen inside the laboratory.

 

With this book, you will 

  • Understand current and emerging security threats including rootkits, bot networks, spyware, adware, and click fraud
  • Recognize the interaction between various crimeware threats
  • Gain awareness of the social, political, and legal implications of these threats
  • Learn valuable countermeasures to stop crimeware in its tracks, now and in the future
  • Acquire insight into future security trends and threats, and create an effective defense plan

With contributions by Gary McGraw, Andrew Tanenbaum, Dave Cole, Oliver Friedrichs, Peter Ferrie, and others.

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About the Author:

Markus Jakobsson, Ph.D., is currently principal scientist at Palo Alto Research Center and an adjunct associate professor at Indiana University. The coauthor of more than one hundred peer-reviewed articles and co-inventor of more than fifty patents, Markus studies the human factor of security and cryptographic protocols with an emphasis on privacy.

 

Zulfikar Ramzan, Ph.D., is currently a senior principal researcher with Symantec Security Response. Coauthor of more than fifty technical articles and one other book, Zulfikar is a frequent speaker on his areas of expertise: theoretical and practical aspects of information security and cryptography.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Traditionally, malware has been thought of as a purely technical threat, relying principally on technical vulnerabilities for infection. Its authors were motivated by intellectual curiosity and, sometimes, by competition with other malware authors.

This book draws attention to the fact that this is all history. Infection vectors of today take advantage of social context, employ deceit, and may use data-mining techniques to tailor attacks to the intended victims. Their goal is profit or political power. Malware has become crimeware. That is, malware has moved out of basements and college dorms, and is now a tool firmly placed in the hands of organized crime, terror organizations, and aggressive governments. This transformation comes at a time when society increasingly has come to depend on the Internet for its structure and stability, and it raises a worrisome question: What will happen next? This book tries to answer that question by a careful exposition of what crimeware is, how it behaves, and what trends are evident.

The book is written for readers from a wide array of backgrounds. Most sections and chapters start out describing a given angle from a bird’s-eye view, using language that makes the subject approachable to readers without deep technical knowledge. The chapters and sections then delve into more detail, often concluding with a degree of technical detail that may be of interest only to security researchers. It is up to you to decide when you understand enough of a given issue and are ready to turn to another chapter.

Recognizing that today’s professionals are often pressed for time, this book is written so that each chapter is relatively self-contained. Rather than having each chapter be sequentially dependent on preceding chapters, you can safely peruse a specific chapter of interest and skip back and forth as desired. Each chapter was contributed by a different set of authors, each of whom provides a different voice and unique perspective on the issue of crimeware.

This book is meant for anyone with an interest in crimeware, computer security, and eventually, the survivability of the Internet. It is not meant only for people with a technical background. Rather, it is also appropriate for makers of laws and policies, user interface designers, and companies concerned with user education. The book is not intended as a guide to securing one’s system, but rather as a guide to determining what the problem really is and what it will become.

Although we often use recent examples of attacks to highlight and explain issues of interest, focus here is on the underlying trends, principles, and techniques. When the next wave of attacks appears—undoubtedly using new technical vulnerabilities and new psychological twists—then the same principles will still hold. Thus, this book is meant to remain a useful reference for years to come, in a field characterized by change. We are proud to say that we think we have achieved this contradictory balance, and we hope that you will agree.

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