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Malicious Mobile Code: virus protection for Windows Roger A Grimes
Published by O'Reilly
ISBN:156592682X
544 pages
£ 28.60
Published: 28th August 2001
reviewed by Lindsay Marshall
   in the May 2002 issue (pdf), (html)
bookcover  

When I first heard about this book, I assumed that it had to be a reference manual for Outlook on a pocket PC, but it is rather more than that (though Outlook certainly features!). It is in fact a rather comprehensive horror story. Why would anyone want to use a system that requires a 522 page book to tell you how to protect yourself from attack? The existence of this book has to be the one of the best adverts for using Linux ever.

The author has also managed to pull off the trick of writing a sizeable book about malicious code without actually writing a complete ``how to'' manual for its authors (though there are some complete examples of IRC scripts). Unfortunately, reading through series of descriptions of what various viruses, worms etc. do is pretty dull after a while - let's face it, most virus writers have lots of ingenuity but not much imagination. It does leave you wondering about what the designers of the software that they are attacking were thinking about when they were working on it.

If, for your sins, you have to use or manage Windows systems there is undoubtedly much useful information in this book, but you will have to plough through lots of description to extract it. If you live in a Linux world, then there is no conceivable need for you to even think about buying it, apart from schadenfreude of course, and it is probably too expensive for that.

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