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A vector in computing, specifically when talking about malicious code such as viruses or worms, is the method that this code uses to propagate itself or infect a computer. This sense is similar to, and derived from, its meaning in biology.
Some common vectors:
- buffer overflows – this is how the Blaster worm was able to propagate
- networking protocol flaws
Web-based malware and vector
According to Provos et al., a web page is determined malicious "if it causes the automatic installation of software without the user's knowledge or consent". To increase the success rate of the vector (malware), malware is usually camouflaged by layers of code.
Types of web-based malware include:
- Unknown/Obfuscated: "A binary that has been obfuscated so that we could not determine its functionality."
- Provos, Niels; McNamee, Dean. "The Ghost In The Browser Analysis of Web-based Malware" (PDF). Google – via UseNix.
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