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Interview with Eternal Maverick

Cicatrix
December 1997

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How did you start out in computers?

Hmm... The very first time I saw a computer about 12 years ago at school (it was a kind of XT made in USSR). I tried to play some games and wrote a simple program on BASIC...

How and when did you start out in the virus scene?

Later (I think it was in 1993) I've got my own PC (286/1/40Mb/EGA). I was the most happy person in the world that day, but my satisfaction did not last long. The next morning when I turned on my computer I saw a blinking message on the screen: "If you have an HDD led and it is lighting red than HDD formatting is almost completed. With best wishes, XPEH-4928." (The original message was in Russian). I'd lost all my games :) and promised to myself to start learning programming. So I began to learn ASM. The first program I'd disassembled was of cause XPEH.4928.

After a month or two I wrote my first virus. It was a resident encrypted COM infector (very lame, but nevertheless working). Most ideas were taken from two other viruses: Yankee.2885 and LoveChild.488 (XPEH.4928 was to complex for me).

Have you written viruses? If so which would you like to take credit for?

Sure :) I did write Maverick.1536, 2048 and 2560, ExeHeader.EM, Killer.3072 and 3584 (most of these are buggy and doesn't work on Pentium), 2 versions of StoneHeart (with different mutation engines) and some others...

The last virii I wrote is Universe.4096. This one is really good and is not detected by any current AV. I did not write the Nostardamus and Ukraine viruses. They were written by Populizer also he used some of code from my viruses. Kaspersky is wrong calling Killer.3072 and 3584 respectively Nostardamus.3072 and 3584.

How do you name your viruses?

My first viruses were named by Igor Daniloff (the author of DrWeb). 2560 is also called Maverick.Train because of the string from the song: "Run away train never come back." Killer is named so because of its payload (destroying of data on 2 HDDs). It is the only of my viruses which is destructive. Killer was written exclusively for destroying data of some snobs I don't like personally.

Which programming languages do you know?

ASM, C++, Pascal, BASIC.

What programming language do you like using the most?

ASM ;)

Are you a member of a VX group?

Yes, I am a member of SGWW.

Which AV software do you like/respect the most? Which the least?

I like AVP Pro fo it's virus descriptions and demo effects and F-Prot for a large number of viruses detected precisely. I don't like lame programs like AIDSTEST or SCAN.

What are your goals (VX wise)?

To write something really good and original, to produce a quality code.

What is your view on the continuous 'war' between VX and AV.

It will never stop... But virmaking is an art and writing AV software is a trade.

What is your view on Virus Creation software (eg. VCL, PS-MPC etc.)?

Virus Creation software is great in one aspect - it is a great nail in AV's ass :)

What is your view on macro viruses vs. assembly or HLL viruses?

I have not written macro or HLL viruses, it must be also an interesting thing, but assembler is better.

Have you ever confirmed one of your viruses 'in-the-wild'?

Maverick.1536 made a lot of noise in 1994 in Kiev...

Which VX E-zine do you like the most? Which the least?

I like them all, but I think '*' is the best one.

Which individual or what group do you like/respect in the VX world?

There are/were a lot of great people here. I am keeping contacts and friendship with SGWW members. Also I like Vecna. He is a great virmaker and has good ideas.

In the AV world?

Kaspersky as a creator of AVP Pro.

Which individual or what group do you like/respect outside the VX or the AV world?

Smokie, Soul Asylum, Beatles and some others for their music.

What is your view on destructive payloads in viruses?

Sometimes it is a must.

Do you think there is such a thing as a 'good' virus?

'Good' virus is a virus based on a unique idea, a virus which brings something new, virus with funny payload.

What do you do in 'real' life?

I am working as a support team person in a small computer company.

Do people outside the VX scene know what you do (parents, girlfriend etc.)?

Certainly, they do.

Do you do other computer stuff outside VX (Hacking, phreaking, warez etc.)?

Just writing some programs on work and learning new languages and Unix.

Should viruses be illegal? Is there a difference between creation and spreading?

Writing viruses should not be illegal and spreading viruses sometimes should.

Describe the perfect virus.

A flue (I don't mean a computer virus named so).

What is your view on Windows (95)

A shitty software written by lamers. After rewriting 16-bit MS-DOS code using Visual Basic it's size doubled so Microsoft claims that Win95 is a 32-bit OS :)

What is your advice for people just starting out?

Read a good book, disassemble some ASM progs and/or study some good virus sources, then try to write your own virus. More coding, less gaming...

Any greets?

Congratulations to all SGWW and DVC members, Vecna, Poltergst, Black Angel, Nutcracker and all the guys who create good viruses.

How is the virus scene in the Ukraine?

As far as I know VX scene here is not very big: SGWW, DVC and a couple of individuals, but SGWW started in Kiev in 1994.

Have you thought about releasing a virus creators?

I've released my mutation engine, but I don't see any sense in writing virus creators.

What are your plans for the future (VX wise)?

Now I'm planning to finish ORGASMATRON (the original idea and initial code by Vecna). I did corrected some errors, but there are some more issues to be solved.

Also I am going to make Universe multipartite and to write something for Win95 and NT.

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