Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Virus writers have girlfriends - official

Filed under
Misc

The stereotype of virus writers as spotty nerds who can't pull is well wide of the mark, according to an expert on the psychology of virus writers.

Sarah Gordon, senior principal research engineer at Symantec Security Response, said that the more recent idea that virus writing activity is focused mainly around money-making scams is inaccurate. Gordon - sometimes described as the Clarice Starling of anti-virus security - has interviewed over a hundred virus writers in the course of years of research.

She found the type of person who causes the disruption that accompanies the release of malicious code varied considerably by age, education, income, interests and social skills. "Most of the adult males I've interviewed have had girlfriends. Female virus writers have had boyfriends. The stereotypes are wrong," Gordon told El Reg.

Gordon drew a distinction between viruses created out of technical curiosity - which still account for the majority of "in-the-wild" viruses - and malicious code created by criminal elements in the hacking community as a way of stealing personal information on computer resources.

Agobot, Bagle and the like get all the publicity but the vast majority of viruses are written by people as a technical challenge. These nuisance virus writers have no conception of the damage and inconvenience their creations can cause. "Virus writing is irresponsible but not difficult," she said.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS

Development News

  • GCC 7 Moves Onto Only Regression/Doc Fixes, But Will Accept RISC-V & HSA's BRIG
    The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is entering its "stage four" development for GCC 7 with the stable GCC 7.1 release expected in March or April. Richard Biener announced today that GCC 7 is under stage four, meaning only regression and documentation fixes will be permitted until the GCC 7.1.0 stable release happens (yep, as per their peculiar versioning system, GCC 7.1 is the first stable release in the GCC 7 series).
  • 5 ways to expand your project's contributor base
    So many free and open source software projects were started to solve a problem, and people began to contribute to them because they too wanted a fix to what they encountered. End users of the project find it useful for their needs, and the project grows. And that shared purpose and focus attracts people to a project's community.
  • Weblate 2.10.1
    This is first security bugfix release for Weblate. This has to come at some point, fortunately the issue is not really severe. But Weblate got it's first CVE ID today, so it's time to address it in a bugfix release.

Intel Kabylake: Windows 10 vs. Linux OpenGL Performance

For those curious about the current Kabylake graphics performance between Windows 10 and Linux, here are some OpenGL benchmark results under each operating system. Windows 10 Pro x64 was tested and the Linux distributions for comparison were Ubuntu 16.10, Clear Linux, Antergos, Fedora 25 Xfce, and openSUSE Tumbleweed. Read more

Google's open-source Tilt Brush: Now you can create 3D movies in VR