Profile of a Virus Writer

On February 9, 2004, in Security, by Administrator

The New York Times has published a great article on virus writers. Nice detailed analysis that is worth the read.

“This is how easy it has become.

Mario stubs out his cigarette and sits down at the desk in his bedroom. He pops into his laptop the CD of Iron Maiden’s ”Number of the Beast,” his latest favorite album. ”I really like it,” he says. ”My girlfriend bought it for me.” He gestures to the 15-year-old girl with straight dark hair lounging on his neatly made bed, and she throws back a shy smile. Mario, 16, is a secondary-school student in a small town in the foothills of southern Austria. (He didn’t want me to use his last name.) His shiny shoulder-length hair covers half his face and his sleepy green eyes, making him look like a very young, languid Mick Jagger. On his wall he has an enormous poster of Anna Kournikova — which, he admits sheepishly, his girlfriend is not thrilled about. Downstairs, his mother is cleaning up after dinner. She isn’t thrilled these days, either. But what bothers her isn’t Mario’s poster. It’s his hobby.

When Mario is bored — and out here in the countryside, surrounded by soaring snowcapped mountains and little else, he’s bored a lot — he likes to sit at his laptop and create computer viruses and worms. Online, he goes by the name Second Part to Hell, and he has written more than 150 examples of what computer experts call ”malware”: tiny programs that exist solely to self-replicate, infecting computers hooked up to the Internet.” Full Story


1 Response » to “Profile of a Virus Writer”

  1. sean healey says:

    Hey Matt, my name is Sean Healey and I am an undergrad at New York University. I am a Politics major currently enrolled in a National Security class and I am trying to compile a bibliography and an outline for my term paper on cyberterrorism (15-20 pages). I don’t have a great deal of experience in the field and was just wondering if you could recommend some basic, up to date texts on the subject as well as some more advanced writings. I’ve already checked out a number of the readings you have assigned on your GU class website and a lot of those look really useful. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I’m sure you don’t have a lot of time but if you have a few minutes to spare, I’d love to hear your recommendations.


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