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Do antivirus software developers create viruses?

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / July 27, 2005 8:33 AM PDT

Do you think antivirus software developers create viruses in order to increase the use of their products?

Definitely (tell us why)
I have my suspicions (what are they?)
Probably not (tell us why)
Absolutely not (tell us why)
I don't know

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by m.afshari / July 27, 2005 7:13 PM PDT

Why not? How else would they make money out of!!!!

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Virus Makers
by a_nahuche / July 27, 2005 7:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Definitley

U cant be completely sure cuz, lawyers dnt wake up in the mornin hoping peepz to get sued or doctors hoping peepz to get sick, and by the way virus writers, computer hackers mustly do it not usually knowin wat it might end up bein bt mostly to ''BRAG'' bout it, so u cant b really sure

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A very interesting question indeed...
by meanskin / July 28, 2005 6:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Virus Makers

I would probably bet one of my ex-girlfriends on the possibility of it. For a couple reasons.
1. Uninformed consumers. I have this neighbor who is 55 years old and isn

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Virus makers working for virus fighters
by hortonwho / July 29, 2005 12:47 AM PDT

It is well known that Norton, Mcafee and the like hire known virus creators and hackers to work for them. I think the logic of this is just as mentioned. They want someone who can think of the next step in virus attacks. This being said you have a person whose personality is to try to beat the system. It makes sense that this person would be very tempted to try to one up the people he/she is now working with and try to introduce a virus they can't beat.

While the overall mission (secret or otherwise) may not be to release viruses the companies' culture may be one that encourages and possibly even subsidizes the creation and release of viruses.

Also as mentioned earlier (about lesser known companies), a Russian company that was making a name for itself as a virus killer was busted a year or so ago for introducing viruses so they could be the first to fix it. So while they were not packaging viruses with their software they were introducing viruses into the world so they could be the heros.

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Think for a Moment
by leonpurvis / November 25, 2005 12:10 AM PST

Saying that MacAfee, Norton, et al create viruses in order to seel antiviral software is a lot like saying that tire manufacturers throw nails and damage-causing debris on the road in order to ruin (then sell) more tires.

The anti-virus companies don't have to introduce viruses into the internet because there are enough nuts around to do it for them. Antivirus programs exist BECAUSE of the screwballs who create malicious code on their own.

But are the virus makers working for the legitimate software makers? In an indirect way, but they're not getting paid for it. The screwballs who release viruses do it for a thrill like pyromaniacs set fire to buildings for a thrill.

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Goofballs and others
by benderr2001 / November 25, 2005 1:08 AM PST
In reply to: Think for a Moment

It is absurd that major corporations like Symantec, NAI (McAfee), Microsoft and others would take the chance of getting caught setting up the whole Internet community when there are countless 'volunteers' priding themselves on creating the most treacherous worms and viruses.

Just take a look at authors of the most recent worms:
Zotob, Sasser, Witty, MyDoom, Sober, Sobig and Blaster.

Google who was sentenced and you'll find that software companies are not 'behind' the plots. The only thing one can blame them for is that their products aren't perfect and some individuals have no other purpose than exploiting those weaknesses.

- my 2 cents -

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and 2 cents spent well
by sidey / November 25, 2005 4:02 PM PST
In reply to: Goofballs and others

good comment.

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One thing to consider...Billy is watching them. His OS needs
by martylk2 / November 25, 2005 11:40 PM PST
In reply to: Goofballs and others

to be safe and secure or he'll have to face trouble. I figure he wants his OS being the best it can be and operate as efficiently as possible.

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Yes, Wants it to be the Best for His needs!
by eye2fun / December 15, 2005 5:01 AM PST

Admit it! Microsoft's OS is ''Holier Than Thou''. In fact I would call it an ''Air Conditioned'' OS! Not like in ''Cool'' either. Like in any first grade hack or crack can cut right through it. Why do you think Corporations and the World's goverments prefer a Unix derivitive (Linux, unix, OS-10, etc.). Why are so many of them switching to systems that don't cost so much time and money to maintain?

Make it to break or at least so you have to ''Spend MO Money''! If we bought every program offered for windows, that backed up programs that failed, you'ld end up with a whole chain of failed programs to ''Backup'' with more software to pick your pockets. ''Billy'' needs Mo Money and until he thinks he has enough (which will be never) he'll get it from us and help his corporate buddies get some too. It's all down to business as usual in this world. Wink

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Right On
by caydelotte / November 26, 2005 11:16 AM PST
In reply to: Think for a Moment

Good analogy. Good analysis. Well thoght out post. All of these ''conspiracy'' theories are really boring and quite silly.

Chuck Aydelotte

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by firerant / November 25, 2005 10:30 AM PST
In reply to: Virus Makers

You're an idiot.

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by sidey / November 25, 2005 4:06 PM PST
In reply to: Virus Makers

No offence but if you write so people can understand its pretty helpful in forums. Otherwise you will run the risk of being called an idiot as I see you already have.

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Corp. World Full of Thieves! Not a Language Critique!
by eye2fun / November 26, 2005 12:24 PM PST
In reply to: hmmmm

First, ''a_nahuche'' was using a very popular Internet shorthand and the jest of his statement was, ''You Can't Be Sure Virus Companies Are Not Writing Viruses to Keep Them in Business''. Which is true!

Don't criticize a poster because you don't understand their writing style. Many of us wonder why you mis-spelled ''Offense'' with a ''c''! But a more foreign language aware person would realize you are most likely a Brit (or a derivitive there of). Excuse me, but because his post wasn't in proper British English, is no reason to burn him for his post.

Now my two American cents worth, in good ''Ole American English'' on this subject.

It is common knowledge that ''Bill Gates wrote the first code ''virus'' to break a program, in high school (yes it was probably an accident, but he learned from it. hee hee). Thus ''Computer Viruses'' were born. He was also known as the ''Mother Of All Hackers (MOAH)'' from when he exploited (Hacked, Stole same thing) the ''Basic'' OS running on Harvard's Mainframe computer and ported it to the ''Altair 8800'' that started him on his way to his billions of dollars.

It is now widely known that he duped his friend out of a hacked copy of QDOS (aptly named ''Quick n Dirty Operating System'') then renamed it various other names according to who it was being sold to. IBM PC-DOS, COMPAC-DOS, MS-DOS, etc. etc. Gates was fond of hiring young high school and college kids as code slaves for further writing of the OS. Bored, underpaid, overworked, mischievous, they began putting ''bugs'' in the code. Hence we still have Microsoft computer ''bugs'' today. Were they put there on purpose with Bill's knowledge? Probably as was the case with COMPAQ-DOS. Bill loved it when his company got paid more money the next year to write a fix. Thus building in code to break, was born.

Much like many shipyard workers in the past(and their bosses), were known to set logs afloat in the river channels of the old days. They called them ''Silent Messengers''! But they only used this practice when business was slow and - or they were about to lose their jobs. Does this justify it? No! You ever heard of the disgruntled ''Postal Employee'' going postal? The same thing happens in every business. Many of the ''bugs'' are just another form of ''Silent Messengers'' of today. Hey anything to make a buck, right?

I'm not saying that everyone who works for a Corporation is a bad person, but greed can do strange things to employees and the powers that be in the Corporate Machinery, as has been proved countless times in history. A prime example comes to mind in the ''Enron'' fiasco. Countless people and it's own employees life's were destroyed for the benefit of a few dishonest, greedy, executives!

Many posters here, have taken an affront to the negative comments of distrust for the software business world (anti-virus program writers are just one of them). Have they forgotten companies like ''Enron''? Who will the next ''Enron'' be? Will it be Symantec (Norton Anti-Virus, etc) or will they just succeed in getting away with letting viruses slide through till next year, to prolong our agony, increase the Bosses profits and promote job security. After all Microsoft got off Scot free on 90% of their underhanded tactics over the last 25+ years (stealing code and profiting from it has become an art form for them). Many here are just plain too naive to take an honest look at the slithering underworld of corporate dealings going on everyday in Life.

To ignorantly believe that it is not possible, is like turning a blind eye to the ''Anything Goes'' marketing and business tools used to rob us blind and smoke-screen (Tobacco Industry) us to death. Literally! With information and knowledge of history, we may just survive in this ''The Ball Always Rolls Downhill'' world and in the end it becomes not so amazing on how many people are willing to turn their head, if it involves earning a few almighty dollars. Suspicions are indeed justified and may help us survive. Sony has just recently proved how right we are to be wary and distrusting of the Corporate World. Root Kits are about as close as it gets to proving my Point and making hogwash of the viewpoint that Corporate Citizens are Saints!

As the French say ''C'est La Vie'' (such is life), ''C'est La Guerre'' ( such is war)! Wink

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popular or not
by sidey / November 27, 2005 12:04 PM PST

Its not english in any form and as such my comment stands. You don't like it ... tough.

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Yeah but...
by VitaminM / October 7, 2010 2:12 AM PDT
In reply to: popular or not

eye2fun's comment makes more sense.

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Oh and btw
by sidey / November 27, 2005 12:24 PM PST

"Many of us wonder why" ....Who are the many besides yourself? I don't see too many running up a comment backing you up and I would also wonder why it is you didn't take exception to fireants comment who went as far as to actually call the person an idiot. I just offered advice and that was to be more clear as to avoid being called an idiot.

Double standards there or does one miss spelt word offend your delicate sensibilities that much you just had to sound off about it.

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calm down
by VitaminM / October 7, 2010 2:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh and btw

I hate when someone gets made because another person made a valid point that contradicts theirs. Deal with it dude. You got schooled.

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Flame On...
by BobWa / November 28, 2005 10:28 PM PST

First, let me just say that I'm an American and I myself prefer the "Kings English" over Internet shorthand. I never liked it and never will. I'm an American and I'm free to express myself.

That being said, I try not to flame those who post intelligent, well thought out ideas but your pompous-post left me no choice. I was very tempted to flame a_nahuche for being an "idiot" or something to that effect, but I fought the compulsion to do so until I saw your post.

You come off as a well educated individual but when one reads a little deeper in to the context of what you're saying it soon becomes clear that you are full of crap. You've taken well known facts about Bill Gates and Microsoft and twisted them all into a very misguided conspiracy theory. It's people like YOU that perpetuate the idea that Microsoft is the reason that there are so many problems on the Internet.

Normally, I wouldn't even dignify a post, like the one by a_nahuche, with a response but yours left me with an itch that I just couldn't scratch until now.

'Nuff said...

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Your Ignorance Just ''Flashed'' in Neon!
by eye2fun / December 15, 2005 4:18 AM PST
In reply to: Flame On...

Nothing I said was meant to be pompous. Sounds like you're referring to yourself. I stand behind my defense of his post and it appears you have no idea of what this thread is even about. But Morons usually do prefer posting non-sensical flames anyway! You're just flaming for flames-sake.

BTW- My referrence to a mis-spelled word, did not state it was mis-spelled. Just possibly posted by a brit or canadian as an analogy. I don't judge a post by it's cover, style, or spelling. But by the idea they're trying to get accross. In here we always have to allow for the fact that not everyone in the world is an american, and we may have trouble reading the post. So reach back, grab your head, and pull it out!

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I've ''pulled it out''.
by BobWa / December 15, 2005 10:28 PM PST

You're absolutely correct. I was flaming for flames-sake. Go back and read my post, you'll see that was my intention from the start.

Most pompous people don't realize how pompous they are. I do and I'm comfortable with my own pomposity.

Looks like I got MY point across;-)

Feel better now? I do.

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Anything goes
by apple-not / May 31, 2015 4:32 AM PDT

In a busy world, anonymous, little prestige can be gained by making someone clean their computers or progressing beyond multiple firewalls - other than selling annual new virus licenses. The major benefit is with the companies, who sell the antivirus protection. When money drives the best invention in other areas, why also not in this sector. And inventing a virus outside the industry, very little can be gained, but inside the research of breaking into new OS's the stakes are much higher. So this informative comment has a lot going for it. - just in case you doubt, you need to ask yourself: qui bene

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answer to your comment
by djwizard / November 29, 2005 11:04 AM PST
In reply to: Virus Makers

learn to spell, then maybe some people might just read "all the way through your comments".

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Learn to spell?
by VitaminM / October 7, 2010 2:14 AM PDT
In reply to: answer to your comment

The weakest comeback of all time. Cop out for "I was made wrong and I can't just accept that."

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by paintballsean / December 28, 2005 2:56 AM PST
In reply to: Virus Makers

I think that antivirus programs were only made tot force us to update there programs.

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by goofey_knight / July 28, 2005 8:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Definitley

sometimes when you buy/download an antivirus program or anti spyware program, u might allready have 3+ spyware programs running and they cant find anything but when you download a new program it always seems to find things that you thought you never had.

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by lazychris2000 / July 28, 2005 11:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Definitley

think about it this way....a new virus comes out and symantec, mcafee and the rest of those antivirus companies have a fix for it in like 48 else would they be able to do that if they didnt make the virus? They also say that 'This is the worst virus our software to be protected!.' Sounds like a conspiracy to me

im gonna go ahead and chalk up 1 more point for linux...people like me are immune (so far) to viruses.

if it werent for windows, there would be very few viruses.....think about that one for a few minutes.

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Windows is cause or reason for Viruses?
by hortonwho / July 29, 2005 12:37 AM PDT
In reply to: conspiracy

In response to this, if it weren't for windows all viruses would be linux based (or whoever was the biggest os provider). As noted earlier most of the hackers and virus makers are looking for bragging rights. They want to be able to say they hit x number of machines worldwide. If windows were not the main OS then they would make viruses for whover was the main os platform. Linux is only safe because it is not the os of choice for most of the world.

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pretty much true...
by P1. / July 29, 2005 12:40 PM PDT

windows and dos are the main os(es) around so think about it... theres millions of users and businesses using either os and that makes for a bigger target

(btw... wasn't it bill gates who made the first "virus"?)

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Wrong - MS propaganda
by carolina1 / December 16, 2005 12:42 AM PST

Most(at least) Linux programs protect the root directory and it cannot be changed without permission.
Linux users just want to avoid going on line while logged into their root directory and be careful to know the source of the programs that they wish to install.

MS users are usually infected through internet accessed files, which can easily change your MS windows files. They do not require permission. Doesn't this seem like an easy thing for Microsoft to fix?

Linux programs will get there sooner than later, because they keep trying to change into "Microsoft II". HP and other companies are all trying to become leaders, but I would guess that they don't want to help...

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What a bunch of sheep some of you are
by king guru / November 21, 2005 2:09 PM PST
In reply to: conspiracy

You get one moron who bleats out the BS theory of Norton and probably MacAfee and Trend Micro all conspiring to part people from their money by creating infections to justify the annual subscription fees and what happens? A whole bunch of mindless sheep follow the lead and shout ''of course they are''. Lord spare me from the armchair IT gurus who think they know it all yet the truth is you could fit their knowledge on one tenth of a pinhead.

First of all I have no love for Symantec. I am an ex employee and with the exception of many of my former colleagues who I still consider friends, I have no warm or fuzzy spot of love for that company and my reasons are my own.

But here is what gets me so mad about you pea brains who spread this garbage or encourage others to do the same. The lies you write are not at a brand name, they are at the people who work for those companies. People make companies, not the brand and by creating these lies its not the brand you attack, its the people that you discredit and throw mud on their reputations.

How dare you infer that I or my friends deliberately with conscious intent created infections in order to deceive or commit fraud on subscribers. You have no more right to cast that accusation at me than I have to call any of you pedophile perverts.

Where is your proof? Why is it that not one ex employee of any AV product hasn't come out and said ''Hey guess what? The infections that plague the net are created by us for the sole purpose of ensuring that our employers keep their beamers and fancy houses'' You got the proof, then put it out there and take it to the authorities. Otherwise ****, get a clue and grow up. Because I don't want some person at some time in the future read my CV and say, ''Hey tough luck sport, you missed out on the job that you?re supremely qualified for because there is a general perception that you participated in fraud when you worked at Symantec'' And all thanks to the fools who spread this vile garbage. Shame on you fools and shame on the idiot moderator who perpetuated this rubbish by promoting it.

Oh and to the Neanderthal who thinks he's immune to viruses cos he runs Linux ... one word for you pal. IDIOT. And FYI while im at it, you got virus definitions relatively fast because we worked for the subscription fees that paid our wages and gave you your moneys worth moron.

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