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 Mystery Company Hopes To Increase Malware Quality by Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen

January 10, 2005 | Humorix

The rain poured as I wandered the docks looking for Midnight Alley. This was the place I was told to be at exactly 23:37, to meet H4xWarez spokesman J. Doe.

H4xWarez specializes in "various Internet related services" according to the promotional literature I obtained from their secret Gopher server (I promised not to reveal the server's IP number... as if anybody remembers how to use Gopher). An anonymous caller had hinted that it might prove an interesting article to investigate the newest H4xWarez technology.

A man wearing sunglasses and a long black coat suddenly appeared next to me. With an intense whisper he said, "Keep moving... and don't look at me!"

Here follows a transcription of my interview with J. Doe (not his real pseudonym):

Q: What kind of software does H4xWarez provide?

A: There is a growing demand for rock solid, portable malware. That's exactly what libbackdoor and the rest of our product suite will deliver.

Q: But doesn't the Internet have enough malware as it is?

A: Yes. But it's bad, low-quality malware. Most of it is riddled with serious bugs, like buffer overflows and uninitialized variables. Most of it will segfault after the tiniest bit of stress. In other words, it is easily exploited by other malware. For instance, in a matter of milliseconds, our libworm can easily take complete control over popular malware such as mydoom, blaster and sasser. Our product suite, with libbackdoor as our flagship, will provide reliable malware that runs on all platforms.

Q: Tell me a bit about libbackdoor.

A: 1?

Q: No seriously...

A: Well, with libbackdoor installed it will be a piece of cake to get external access to everything on the host, including root/administrator rights. This way we can install any range of products from the rest of our suite. Like libvirus. The smart thing is that libbackdoor only accepts H4XWarez malware ensuring that poorly written competitors can't use libbackdoor as an access point.

Q: The name libbackdoor implies that it is a libraray, right? So will a user have to link his binaries against it? That seems awfully complicated.

A: Yes. That is a point we are addressing at this very moment. One solution comes from an unnamed OS vendor who has shown interest in providing libbackdoor preinstalled. Unfortunately, their pending OS has been delayed over and over again.

Q: What have been the major obstacles in writing solid malware?

A: At the moment we are struggling heavily with our build machines constantly crashing. They are using 99-100% CPU power just running "ls" or "dir"; we are trying to figure out why. We have also been forced to rework our code from scratch several times because the hard drives in our servers keep getting wiped by unknown forces. Communication between our ha... programmers is also severely hampered by the skazillion megabytes of junk email they receive every day. Our libspam development team has been particularly hard hit.

Q: With all the problems you are facing, when can we expect a stable release?

A: I am sorry but I cannot reveal that.

Q: Even off the record?

A: Especially off the record. If you found out, I would have no choice but to kill you. And my technique is rather unpleasant -- it involves the command "dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/brain".

Q: How did this all get started?

A: Initially, we at H4xWarez wanted to produce a portable installation of ActiveX, but as we progressed, we eyed a bigger market. The rest is history.

Q: Thank you. I think I've got enough here.

A: No problem. Just remember, I wasn't here. You didn't see nothin'.

Virus Classification

[01/01/2002] SatireWire VIRUS MAKING TO BE HATE CRIME


Systems Administrators Now On Front Lines of Bias Crime

Washington, D.C. ( ó With yet another email virus spreading across the globe, 41 U.S. states and six European countries today announced that the act of creating an attachment-based computer virus will now be considered a hate crime because it intentionally targets stupid people.

"In a hate crime, the offender is motivated by the victim's personal characteristics, and in the case of email viruses, the maker is clearly singling out those who open email attachments when they've been told a
thousand times not to," said California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. "Like any other segment of the population, people of stupidity need protection from bias."

The decision, however, is already causing a firestorm of controversy. In the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union vehemently opposed the action, arguing it runs counter to the spirit of hate crime laws.

"Hate crime statutes are specifically designed to protect minority groups," said ACLU President Nadine Strossen. "I'm not sure the number of stupid computer users meets that criterion."

France, meanwhile, said it would not prosecute anyone willing to write a virus in French.

But in London, the British Civil Idiots Union applauded the move, arguing that virus-based hate crimes cause victims to suffer psychological harm. "Every time we pass on one of these emails, our self-esteem is shattered when we are forced to publicize our condition," said CIU President Michael Overly. "It's always a shock to my system every time I have to write, "Hey everybody, if you get an email attachment from me, don't open it! I just found out my computer got infected by a virus! Sorry!"
... ... ....

"Good Time" hoax parody 

From the highly reliable newspaper, Weekly World News: MAN CATCHES COMPUTER VIRUS! Bizarre illness jamming up his brain waves! Caption: SICK COMPUTER passed on a bizarre virus to programmer John Stevens, above, after it became ill from an infected software program.

By Michael Todd, Special Correspondent, {Weekly World News}, 18 June 1991

John Stevens has a lot in common with his home computer: Both think logically, both like numbers and both are sick with a virus - the same virus! Stevens, a computer programmer who works out of his home in a Philadelphia suburb, is convinced his lingering and debilitating illness is something he got >from his sick computer. And the victim's doctor agrees. "I've run every test I can think of to trace the origin of his illness," said Dr. Mark Fordland. "He has a virus, but it's not like any virus I've ever seen."

Stevens, 32, said his computer began to show signs of a virus - a software program designed to eat up an destroy other software data - about a week before he got sick. "I was careless about borrowing software programs from other people I didn't know well," Stevens admits.

Dr. Fordland, himself a computer expert, agrees. "Borrowing software programs from friends and strangers is like having sex with someone you don't know well. When you sleep with someone, you sleep with everyone they've ever slept with. When you borrow someone's software program, you're connected to everyone who's ever used that program." Dr. Fordland concludes that Stevens' symptoms are identical to that of a software virus' attack on a computer. "Stevens has become forgetful, like something is eating up his memory, his data. He has less and less energy. He can't hold onto thoughts. Even an EEG (electroencephalogram) of his brain waves keeps changing. It's becoming more and more erratic. "This virus could just eat him up until his mind is a blank and he's like a vegetable," the doctor said.



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