The Null Device

The Virus Writers' Club

The Observer speaks to computer virus writers. According to this article, most of them are European teenagers, and the guys-without-girlfriends stereotype isn't strictly accurate; more to the point, most of them (if they are to be believed) write viruses just for the technical challenge and don't actually release them. (Though they do show them off, and consequently script kiddies and miscellaneous impulsive psychopaths do end up releasing them.)

The people who release the viruses are often anonymous mischief-makers, or 'script kiddies'. That's a derisive term for aspiring young hackers, usually teenagers or students, who don't yet have the skill to program computers but like to pretend they do. They download the viruses, claim to have written them themselves and then set them free in an attempt to assume the role of a fearsome digital menace. Script kiddies often have only a dim idea of how the code works and little concern for how a digital plague can rage out of control. Our modern virus epidemic is thus born of a symbiotic relationship between the people smart enough to write a virus and the people dumb enough - or malicious enough - to spread it.

In related news: German magazine c't apparently has evidence that virus writers are selling 0wned machines to spammers. In this case, "virus writers" probably means "hoodlums who hang around virus writers' forums".

There are 2 comments on "The Virus Writers' Club":

Posted by: nicholas http:// Wed Apr 21 03:51:49 2004

how do you down load virus's and send them to your enemys??!!??!!

Posted by: mitch http:// Wed Apr 21 06:36:16 2004

Just go to and run the Microsoft Virus Update. If there are any viruses that aren't present in your system, Outlook will then automatically install them.

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