Throwback Thursday: I say Virus, You say Trojan

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 14, 2016

This Throwback Thursday, VB heads back to 1998 — a time when anti-virus vendors avoided tackling non-replicating trojans, worms, jokes and corrupted files.

Today, the idea of security vendors not tackling trojans or other forms of malware seems absurd, yet back in the 90s, anti-virus vendors argued that because, by definition, they developed anti-virus, and not anti-trojan or anti-malware software, it was not in their remit to devote their attention anything other than viruses.

In January 1998, VB's then Technical Editor Jakub Kaminski penned an editorial piece looking at the importance, given this situation, of language and classification and of being able to reach an agreement on the definitions of a virus, a trojan, etc. — especially with the advent of pieces of malware for which there were more than enough reasons to categorize at least some of them as viruses, yet at the same time, also legitimate arguments to classify them as trojans or even worms. While anti-virus researchers generally felt strongly about wanting to do things right and not compromising their principles, Jakub argued that, sometimes, adhering to one's principles makes it difficult to provide the clear answers and simple solutions required by users.

Read Jakub's editorial here in HTML-format, or download it here as a PDF.

Posted on 14 January 2016 by Helen Martin

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
googleplus.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

Security products and HTTPS: let's do it better

A recent paper showed that many HTTPS-intercepting security solutions have implemented TLS rather poorly. Does that mean we should avoid such solutions altogether?

The SHA-1 hashing algorithm has been 'shattered'

Researchers from Google and CWI Amsterdam have created the first known collision of the SHA-1 hashing algorithm, making a very strong case to ditch it.

Throwback Thursday: Once a researcher...

VB was saddened to learn this week of the passing of one of the pioneers of the AV industry, Ross Greenberg. This Throwback Thursday we look back at an interview with Ross in November 1995.

VB2017: What is happening in the threat landscape and what are we doing against it? Submit a proposal in the VB2017 CFP!

Have you analysed a new online threat? Do you know a new way to defend against such threats? Then submit an abstract in the CFP for VB2017!

VB2016 paper: APT reports and OPSEC evolution, or: these are not the APT reports you are looking for

APT reports are great for gaining an understanding of how advanced attack groups operate - however, they can also provide free QA for the threat actors. Today, we publish a VB2016 paper by Gadi Evron (Cymmetria) and Inbar Raz (Perimeter X), who…