Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Chapter 6. Evil Automatons: Malware, Tro... > Defining Software Behavioral Space

Defining Software Behavioral Space

The end result of this lack of perfect correspondence between what you want software to do and what actions it actually takes is that with some frequency, software will do things that you don't really want and don't intend for it to do. Any of the “things”that software might do when used lie along a continuum from useful, through almost invisible, to truly painful. If the effect is not exactly what you desired, it may still be useful for your purpose, but sometimes effects may be inconsequential or of minor annoyance, such as the creation of log files in places you didn't want them to go, or the modification of timestamps on files leaving you unable to determine when they were really created. In other instances, the effects can be potentially devastating, such as the erasing of your disk drives or corruption of important files. In other instances, the effects could be somewhere in between, such as a breach of security that results in the nondestructive use of your machine as a remote base of operations for an activity such as pirated software distribution, or as a base of attack for yet other remote systems.

Likewise, your interest (or lack thereof) in the action of the software can range from actively desiring it to cause an event, through complete disinterest in whether certain events happen and how, to frantic determination to prevent the event or events. If you're trying to send email, you probably have an active interest in your email client sending the mail, whereas most users are completely unconcerned with the mechanics of the process that enables their Web browsers to retrieve all the information necessary to display a Web page. On the other hand, if you've ever accidentally clicked “OK” to a “Should I format this disk?” dialog query, you have an idea of the urgency one can muster to get the program stopped again.


  

You are currently reading a PREVIEW of this book.

                                                                                                                    

Get instant access to over $1 million worth of books and videos.

  

Start a Free Trial


  
  • Safari Books Online
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint