Software and the virus threat: providing authenticity in distribution
LaVenture, George M.
Schneidewind, Norman F.
Mildner, John W.
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Computer viruses have threatened the integrity and reliability of computer systems since 1983. Literally hundreds of viruses exist for the IBM compatible computer alone. these viruses can cause corruption or loss of program and data files, incidental damage to hardware, and degradation or loss of system performance. This paper examines the nature of the virus threat by discussing virus types, methods and rates of propagation, relative frequencies of occurrence and genealogy. Possible methods for virus detection and identification, followed by disinfection, are outlined. Minimum capabilities and testing criteria fir these products are also detailed. Methods for controlling and limiting infection and damage are discussed. These are considered minimum acceptable safeguards to be implemented by an organization. Lastly, software authentication means are examined, which, when used in conjunction with the minimum safeguards, would eliminate the possibility of viral infection.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
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