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Librenix: Benificial Computer Viruses

Jun 26, 2000, 17:23 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ray Yeargin)

"An article on last week's front page of SecurityPortal entitled "Reflections on the Strange, Perplexing, Interminable, and Most Lamentable Phenomenon Known as the Viral Wars" contains an alarming suggestion."

"It proposes that we..."Develop antiviral viruses (antibodies) that are polymorphic and mobile. Roaming the Internet they would seek out and destroy new viral strains. (SARC is doing some interesting work in this area. More needs to be done though.)". There are several problems with this idea."

"First, it ignores the basic problem with viruses -- that they run on other people's computers without authorization. Presumably, a "beneficial" virus would propagate by similarly illegitimate means, but carry a "good" payload rather than a destructive one. For that reason, I believe that anyone who releases such a "good" virus should be charged with the same offense as one releasing a "bad" virus, although with reduced penalties for its perhaps lesser damage and less deliberately destructive intent."

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