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<nettime> Open Source Community Developing Their Own Viruses
nettime's_ztandup_komedian on Mon, 29 Sep 2003 05:44:29 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Open Source Community Developing Their Own Viruses


Open Source Community Developing Their Own Viruses
By Brian Briggs

Helsinki, Finland - Open source developers plan to challenge Microsoft's 
dominance in the world of viruses by developing their own through the Open 
Virus Project (OVP), and unlike proprietary Microsoft viruses, the open 
source versions will infect across all platforms.

Heading the development of the OVP is Jukka Koskelin. He explained, "We took 
a look at the virus marketspace and realized that Microsoft has over a 95% 
share of all viruses developed. I don't think the Linux community can be 
taken seriously if we don't increase our share in that area."

"The viruses we're developing will work cross-platform unlike Microsoft 
viruses which only work on Windows systems. There are ports to Linux, *BSD, 
Solaris, and yes, even Windows. We should have a Mac port in a couple of 
months," Koskelin continued.

The OVP currently has two viruses in beta: "eyespy" and "GPLdaemon." Eyespy 
installs a spyware checking program, and notifies OVP, so they can inform 
the user that they're being spied on. GPLdaemon uses spare CPU cycles to 
check every file on an infected users hard drive bit-by-bit to see if it 
contains any software that violates the GPL.

The viruses will arrive as .tar.gz attachments and will use automake. Both 
eyespy and GPLdaemon will need to be compiled and executed by the user for 
them to be infected. The viruses can use any e-mail program to propagate, 
and do not require Outlook or Outlook Express.

"We had a lot of arguments on the OVP mailing list about whether to send it 
out as source code or as an executable, but eventually we decided that 
source would spread much more rapidly as it would be optimized for each 
system," said Koskelin. "I know a few programmers outside the project have 
already created .rpm and .deb packages, however."

Devon Chee works on viruses in his spare time for the OVP. "I used to do 
exclusively Windows viruses, but it really wasn't all that challenging," he 
admitted. "With the cross platform viruses I'm working on, I'm really giving 
the users a lot of options. They can set the amount of e-mails that it sends 
out, whether to infect other computers in the same domain and all sorts of 
other tweaks."

Jared Dietrich has been testing the viruses and told us: "The viruses work 
great. They sent out a ton of e-mails from my system. I had to walk my mom 
through the compilation process, but I finally got her infected too. The 
only problem I've seen is that the Windows port doesn't really work well 
under WINE."

The Justice Department has started investigations into the virus monopoly by 

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