Throwback Thursday: Virus Writers

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jun 11, 2015

This Throwback Thursday, we bring you a series of articles from the archives that looked at virus writers, asking 'who are they?', 'why do they do it?', and other pertinent questions.

Recent years have seen a huge shift in malware writing - gone are the days of script kiddies and the lonely teenager wanting his 15 minutes of fame, to be replaced with serious organized criminal gangs running multi-million-dollar rackets, and now even nation-state-sponsored malware writing. The malware writers of today may still lay low, but one could argue that their motivations have never been clearer. Back in the 90s, though, virus writers were an enigma, with much mystery surrounding their motivations.

Sarah Gordon spent many years researching the whys and wherefores of virus writing, and was one of very few researchers who was able to gain the trust of many virus writers and anti-virus software developers alike. In 1999, she put together a three-part series for VB dealing with the questions she was most often asked about virus writers.

In Part 1, Sarah attempted to explain the inexplicable. Read part one here in HTML-format, or download it here as a PDF.

Part 2 dealt with the question 'How have they changed?' Read part two here in HTML-format, or download it here as a PDF.

Finally, in Part 3 she examined the question that raised the most heated debate of all: 'why do they do it?' Read part three here in HTML-format, or download it here as a PDF (no registration or subscription required).

Posted on 11 June 2015 by Helen Martin

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