Malware writing teacher revives old rows

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Aug 5, 2008

College instructor claims to be fighting industry monopoly.

As announced to much controversy last year, a course in computer security at Sonoma State University, California, is teaching students to write their own viruses, keyloggers, spambots and other malicious software. According to a high-profile piece in Newsweek magazine, the teacher of the course, Dr George Ledin, claims his classes have a specific focus on avoiding detection by security software, as part of a criticism of anti-malware solutions and the industry as a whole.

The Newsweek article quotes Ledin as supporting the 'anti-virus is dead' argument, based on his findings that targeted malware created by his students could avoid detection by traditional scanning techniques. He is also said to believe the industry is scamming consumers, maintaining a monopoly on security software and blocking technological advances.

Ledin plans to publish a book entitled 'Computer Security, Ethics and Society'.

The Newsweek article is online here, with bemused comment on Dr. Ledin's claims from Mary Landesman at about.com here and further analysis of the story in ITWire here.

Posted on 05 August 2008 by Virus Bulletin

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