Motivation Behind Virus Wiriting

This is a discussion on Motivation Behind Virus Wiriting within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I was just wondering what you good people thought the main motivations are behind virus writing and what you think ...

  1. #1
    Prisoner of my own mind
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    Motivation Behind Virus Wiriting

    I was just wondering what you good people thought the main motivations are behind virus writing and what you think of the people who write/distribute them.
    Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself.

  2. #2
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    I think it’s mostly just malicious people without the notion to do anything worthwhile with their skills. I think it was NV that said in an earlier thread that in the old days viruses attached themselves to .exe files and were spread that way. I imagine this process requires a good level of understanding and skill. These days script kiddies write these viruses in MS-Word using VBA, often with no real skill involved.

    The people themselves must gain some sort of satisfaction from causing misery or inconvenience to others - what that says for the personality of these people is anyone’s guess.

  3. #3
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    The virus is the executable, not attached to it. It could take on a new name however. It's not too too difficult to write a virus that targets an operating system like Win9x. I don't know what script viruses are, but I know about writing viruses in C and C++.
    Last edited by Witch_King; 09-07-2001 at 05:04 AM.
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  4. #4
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    The "I'm a malicious bar-steward" stance as far as I can reason to myself is one of the more justifiable ones.

    "The I was pointing out security gaps" is a so weak. If you noticed your local bank or shop had a security gap you should burgle them, honest, it's the only way they'll learn, yeah right, you couldn't have just told them? I'd love to find someone who wrote a virus and used this "justification" and show them the deficiencies in their immune system and/or medical science/health care system by injecting them with ebola.
    Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself.

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    I could write a friendly virus and send it to you guys. It would just write itself into autoexec.bat and pop up a "I Love Microsoft" message every time you turned on your computer. Nothing malicious I mean. Do you doubt me?
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  6. #6
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    >>The virus is the executable, not attached to it.

    I was thinking more of viruses patching .exe files and adding a few lines of malicious code

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    Okay, than I don't know how to write a virus like that, but the thing is, it's easy enough to write an executable that creates temporary files, even batch files or just about anything, even propogate itself and send itself out to other machines with a program like outlook express. Well, the email part, I would need some time to figure out, but I'm not exactly learning programming for the purpose of writing viruses. A person does pick up all of these skills right here at Cprogramming though.
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  8. #8
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    >>it's easy enough to write an executable that creates temporary files, even batch files or just about anything,

    Oh yeah thats easy enough. Also add to that registry editing.

    >>even propogate itself and send itself out to other machines with a program like outlook express.

    You dont even need outlook. Just winsock, smtp and mime knowledge. (Well I suppose you would need to access the address book to get the addresses of those who the virus will spread to).

    >>but I'm not exactly learning programming for the purpose of writing viruses.

    Glad to hear it. There are plenty of more rewarding outlets relating to programming that we can take advantage of.
    Last edited by Fordy; 09-07-2001 at 06:09 AM.

  9. #9
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    "The virus is the executable, not attached to it."

    Yes and no...

    VIRUS: a virus used to be some kind of infection. Virii consisted
    of code attached to .exe or .com files that had a valid use, and
    every time it was executed, the virus code was executed, it
    infected another randomly chosen .exe or .com and after that,
    it would run the original code. They came on disks from friends,
    colleagues or classmates, in times where everyday email or
    internet access at home was something you didn't even consider.

    Some trigger event caused all infected files to act destructivly.

    You could copy a game from a friend, put it on a disk, and play
    it at home... bang, hit by a virus.

    The worms and virii that happen to hit home nowadays are
    written in scripting languages like VBA. Look at ILOVEYOU.
    It was a bunch of VBScript. And you had to run it yourself to
    get it working. I have the source of ILOVEYOU, not hard to get
    when it's a script, and it's far from spectacular. It's a straight-
    forward script doing what we all know it did. Nothing sneaky,
    nothing hidden.

    Ten years ago, you got viruses that would invade your privacy
    and sneak into your system.

    Today, you get a bomb and a note saying "please blow me up
    in your face. Love -Someone".

    I would like to know how to write a real virus. Just for making one
    that does nothing but pop up a message saying "gotcha".
    We get hit by wave after wave of maliccious programs that
    arrive by mail. We tell children not to take gifts from strangers.
    Computers might be another world, but how do people came
    to the conclusion it has to follow other rules ?

    Learn to use a computer.
    Turn on the advanced options.
    Don't run executables of people you haven't spoken to personally.
    Use a personal firewall.

    That's not too hard, that's not too expensive.
    I followed these guidelines and I never ever got a single
    virus or worm...
    hth
    -nv

    She was so Blonde, she spent 20 minutes looking at the orange juice can because it said "Concentrate."

    When in doubt, read the FAQ.
    Then ask a smart question.

  10. #10
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    Learn to use a computer.
    Turn on the advanced options.
    Don't run executables of people you haven't spoken to personally.
    Use a personal firewall.

    That's not too hard, that's not too expensive.
    I followed these guidelines and I never ever got a single
    virus or worm...
    I agree - do people that continue to get viruses just run every executable file that gets sent to them?

    What if we wrote a collective virus here that spread like a normal worm, but instead of doing smth mailicious, installed NAV or smth like that?

  11. #11
    Prisoner of my own mind
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    I got hit by SirCam. It modus operandum is via email attatchments.

    Out of the 3 people I've received emails from since its "discovery" a couple of months ago. I've spoken to 2 of them, they didn't have it or any record of it, waiting to hear from the third.

    It might have been my girlfriend when she checked her web based email on my PC, I'll never know.
    Or when she decided that she didn't like the cd ripping software
    that came with my DAP (gift, well bought with cash that I was given but I was told to get something fun not useful) and downloaded some.

    I was putting off getting some decent firewall and antivirus software because I'd buy it rather than get freeware or shareware. and I had slightly more pressing things to spend on like food, bills and rent at the time and I've paid the price in a little bit of my remaining sanity and about 3 hours of my time.

    I also find it a bit objectionable. Why should I stop at a personal firewall, why I don't buy body armour incase someone decides to start shooting randomly at people on the street. The people who write viruses seem to assume the "rules" in the computer world work differently, not entirely sure where I'm going with this now so I'll stop.
    Last edited by RobS; 09-07-2001 at 06:42 AM.
    Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself.

  12. #12
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    >>was putting off getting some decent firewall and antivirus >>software because I'd buy it rather than get freeware or >>shareware. and I had slightly more pressing things to spend >> like food, bills and rent at the time and I've paid the price in a >>little bit of my remaining sanity and about 3 hours of my time.


    I bought Norton internet security. It was a beast to configure especially as I have 2 computers on a lan, and it always tried to stop them from communicating.

    I got rid of the firewall and kept the NAV part of it. I then downloaded ZoneAlarm and I must say I'm very impressed, especially as its free. Its not worth holding off on buying a firewall when you can download a good one for free now.

  13. #13
    Prisoner of my own mind
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    Fair enough, thanks for the advice, might just get a copt of NAV after work.

    How bigs the ZoneAlarm download, ie am I best off using fast work connection, burning it onto cd and carrying it home (Also with the added bonus of going through works firewall and antivirus) or allowing it to trudge through directly to my currently inadequately protected pc at 56.6kbps at home.
    Or shall I just do my own research. God I'm feeling lazy.
    Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself.

  14. #14
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    I think ZA was ~5 MB

  15. #15
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    Go to Zonelabs

    I downloaded it on a 56k - didnt take long

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