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Keeping Up with the Latest News and Views

If there's one thing that recent widespread infections have taught me, it's the importance of keeping abreast of late-breaking news and information about viruses, Trojans, worms, and security threats. In addition to checking in regularly at your antivirus vendor's Web site, or signing up for whatever kind of e-mail notification they offer, I strongly recommend signing up for one or more security advisories. Because our office environment is Windows-centric, my recommended list of such sources includes a certain Windows bias. If you need to cover other platforms, some research on your favorite search engine or at any of the good security portals should provide pointers to information more focused on your platforms of choice.

That said, here's my recommended list:

Antivirus Tools

Computer Associates offers its InoculateIT antivirus family of programs, which check e-mail attachments, .ZIP archives, incoming FTP and HTTP downloads, and other, more conventional potential sources of virus infection.

Even though McAfee.com is now part of Network Associates, Inc., the company still offers a site that includes information and updates for its ViruScan product.

Symantec Corporation offers the Norton Anti-Virus software, available for Windows NT and other Windows platforms, with centralized management and control. Look for the "Anti-Virus" entry in the left-hand side menu of hyperlinks.

Dr. Solomon (and yes, it's the name of a real person), is now a part of the Network Associates family (like McAfee), and it offers an Antivirus tool and a product called Virex, which include a variety of networked installation, configuration, and management facilities.

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) is an organization that acts as a clearinghouse for information about viruses, and related fixes and workarounds. A great source for late-breaking virus news, and related fixes.

F-PROT is now part of Frisk Software International's antivirus environment. Plenty of sources for the shareware version linger elsewhere on the Web, as a quick visit to any search engine using the string "F-PROT" will affirm. F-PROT remains the best tool for curing boot sector viruses that we know of.

Aladdin Knowledge Systems offers the eSafe antivirus package as one of its several security-related software packages.

Command Software Systems, Inc. offers its Command AntiVirus package (a proactive, enterprise-wide antivirus toolset) to combat viruses at all potential points of entry.

F-Secure is Data Fellows' comprehensive antivirus software package.

Finjan Software, Ltd. provides products that represent a new way to combat Trojan horses, worms, malicious Java, ActiveX, and Script programs from infecting user systems. Not exactly antivirus, but close enough to fit into this general category.

Proland Software offers its Protector Plus antivirus package as a real-time virus detection and removal product.

Sophos offers its Sophos Anti-Virus product for a broad range of platforms, for enterprise-wide antivirus coverage.

Trend Micro offers a broad range of antivirus products for Internet gateways, email, Web servers, and desktop users.

The Cleaner is a special-purpose Trojan scanner designed to detect, repair, and eliminate Trojan horse programs from your systems and networks.

Locations to Report Virus Infections

Security Organizations, Conferences, and Certifications

  • National Security Institute: A plethora of TCP/IP-related security issues and references to other sites.
  • Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT): Provides advisories, security tips, intrusion countermeasures, and more.
  • International Computer Security Association (or ICSA, once known as NCSA -- National Computer Security Association): One of the leading security organizations worldwide, in addition to being a great information resource (hence the double listing).
  • SANS Institute: Offers all kinds of security and best-practices information to the public, including a series of shows and seminars devoted to Windows Security matters. They also offer the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) program, a highly regarded security certification.
  • Information Systems Security Association: International organization that delivers educational information, materials, and publications related to computer security.
  • Microsoft's News Server: Includes a number of security-related newsgroups, including microsoft.public.iis-4.beta.security, Microsoft.public.inetexplorer.ie4.security, microsoft.public.java.security, and a whole collection of newsgroups under the microsoft.public.windows.* umbrella. They also operate a security mailing list at mailto:secure@microsoft.com.
  • Mark Joseph Edwards operates a Windows Security Update and Alerts mailing list at his excellent Web site, which covers viruses among a host of other security topics: http://www.ntsecurity.net/
  • Sign up for the SANS Security Alert Consensus: A regular publication that not only reports late-breaking virus and other security news, but also abstracts recent news reporting in this general subject area.
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