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Dark Side of the Moon: What Motivates Virus Writers

Markus Salo
F-PROT Professional 2.13 Update Bulletin, Data Fellows Ltd.

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Many of us may have wondered what motivates some people to create viruses. At first glance, the act seems completely irrational: there is no money to be gained, and virus writers run the risk of being held liable for the destruction caused by their pets.

Virus writers have their reasons, of course. Few people do anything without a good reason, even less so these sometimes highly intelligent programmers. A good reason need not be a rational one, however. It need not even be conscious. We all do some things just because - let's face it - we feel like it. Revenge and misantrophism aside, why do some of us feel like churning out malicious programs?

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