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Spreading viruses that patch infected machines

Hey everyone. I'm going around the Internet trying to find the answer to this. Thought I might try the buzz-town too. Happy

Somewhere around the time of the ILOVEYOU-virus, I could swear I remember a lot of Internet-buzz about fighting computer viruses with "good" computer viruses. You know, they would spread through security holes the same way normal viruses/worms do, but instead of infecting a machine and digging in, they'd quietly fix the security-hole and move on. The computer's owner would never know.

Anyone know what happened to this idea? Granted, it's highly illegal and Symantec & Friends would never go near it. But somehow it sounds like something that would've been popular among grey hats.

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the illegality is what stops them

In reply to: Spreading viruses that patch infected machines

it is just illegal to write a virus to destroy a virus.. because then you get caught in a war that escelates (just like conficker is in now)

What if the virus they wrote had a exploit to allow someone else to control it?
or what if it infected a hospital computer and shut it down during a operation?

thats what they have to worry about and why they wont!

but creating softwear to get rid of it locally for someone that does not spread.. they can do so you have what we have currently...

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In reply to: the illegality is what stops them

I should be a bit more specific: I am not at all suggesting that anti-virus companies should do this. You state all the reasons quite well; it's illegal, and what if there was an exploit in it. (Also, the issue of escalation didn't occur to me - well spotted!)

I'm asking more about the "grey hat" hackers out there; the coders who take matters into their own hands and don't care about whether or not their activities are ethical. They'll break into a network and maybe pull a prank or two, but still have a sense of good vs. evil and ulatimately only care about bragging-rights.

I ask my initial question of "what happened to that idea" because I have this notion that such a project would've been right up these guys' alleys. What better hacker-cred could you have than writing a world-known virus that reduced the number of virus-infected computers by x percent?

(Someone asked me on a different board "Would you like it if someone came over, unannounced, and repainted your house?" Again, I'm not arguing the morality of this method. It's wrong, any way you look at it.)

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Nothing Illegal about Destroying a Virus

In reply to: the illegality is what stops them

The illegality would have to stem from the means of distribution and how it oprates on the computer. Not that it eats other virus's for lunch. If it were the eathing other virus's but standard AntiVirus softwre would be illegal.

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