Here are some good starting links and suggestions for learning more about computer-virus hunting. 5/9/01 A virus hunter track Here are some good starting links and suggestions for learning more about computer-virus hunting.
Dear Molly: I have been a programmer for a couple of years now. I’m in my early 20s and have a degree in computer science. I’m happy in my job, which consists mostly of making Java jump through hoops. I’ve been reading about computer viruses, though, and I want to learn more about how to detect them. I haven’t been having much luck on finding technical information about this topic or about training and jobs that I might get later on. Can you help?
Molly says: Good for you! The IT world needs more guys in white hats. Here is a rich online resource for you as you learn more about this topic: Northern Light, the search engine and online information resource, has a great jumping off point with links to lots of relevant resources, including the Virus Bulletin and the Virus Information Center.
Since you are thinking about getting a job in this niche, go ahead and contact the anti-virus software makers such as Symantec and McAfee. You will find links to these companies and many other players in the anti-virus battle at the Northern Light Web site. Ask people at these companies for their suggestions about the kinds of training you need. While you are at their sites, look at the Help Wanted ads.
You may need to get a job with one of these companies as a programmer just to get your foot in the door. Be very open when you interview about your desires to become a virus hunter guru, and make sure that the company is open to such advancement. I suspect that the job titles will vary from company to company, so you will need to examine the job descriptions very carefully and ask lots of question about the advancement path for each job before you make a decision.
Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]