Computer Viruses And Malware Essay

871 words - 3 pages

INTRODUCTION

Two of the common known attacks on computing systems are the deployment of computer viruses and malware.

Computer viruses are minute program which is “embedded inside an application or within a data file which can copy itself into another program“(Adams et al, 2008 ) for the sole determination of meddling with normal computer operations. The consequences may range from corruption and deletion of data; propagation of virus on to network and deployment through attachments through emails in order to further creating havoc to all associated computing devices.

Malwares are mischievous programs crafted to agitate or forbid normal operations to gather selected information which may lead to loss of privacy through exploitation; gain unauthorized entry into system resources and other abusive behavior”. The taxonomy of malware includes: Trojan Horses; Viruses, Worms and Zombies (Adams et al, 2008).

In the web applications technology, the web browser is the center which revolves around the internet entity. One of the main tool architecture for web design is the recruitment of JavaScript in the DOM “Document Object Model.” JavaScripting language has inherent capabilities which could execute dynamic effect within the web browser and DOM. DOM offers logic structure in which the document is accessed and manipulated. As a consequence, this also poses numerous security issue which plague all users and developers alike (Wadlow et al, 2009).

ANALYSIS

JavaScript is prevalent within many industries such as web design; desktop gadgets such as Dashboard widgets; PDF used in Adobe Reader; Application tools such as the Adobe Creative Suite; office documents used in Open Office, etc. (Wikipedia, 2011).

PROBLEM

JavaScript is a scripting language resident in the client’s computing system to execute instructions within the web browser or one of the applications list above. This scripting language is also increasingly being used as an attack mechanism by predators that exploit vulnerabilities within the client’s web browser; unpatched software or other JavaScript based applications for mounting their attack (Karanth et al, 2011). The assailant commonly obtains the information for identify theft and for personal financial gains (Wadlow, 2009).

The methods which the adversary employs may vary from:
1. Zero Day Exploits where the assailant discovers a flaw ahead of the security community in raises the defense (Wadlow, 2009).
2. Injection Attacks where the attacker deposits the scripts into a web request to execute at the client-end (Wadlow, 2009).
3. Cross site vulnerability due to poorly validated coding in JavaScript and DOM (Karanth et al, 2011)
4. XSRF (“Cross site Reference Forgery”) where the victim client is redirected to a webpage that simulates the legitimate site (Wikipedia, 2011)
5. Phishing is where the gullible user is brought to a simulation of the actual site but with a minor difference. Example:...

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