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Models of Practical Defenses Against Computer Viruses

Fred Cohen
Computers and Security, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.149-160
ISSN 0167-4048
April 1989

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In this paper, we model complexity based virus detection mechanisms which detect modifications and thereby prevent computer viruses from causing secondary infections. We use these models to show how to protect information in both trusted and untrusted computing bases, show the optimality of these mechanisms, and discuss some of their features. The models indicate that we can cover changes at all levels of interpretation with a unified mechanism for describing interdependencies of information in a system, and we discuss the ramifications of this unification in some depth.

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