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Interview with WarGame

Valhalla #2
January 2012

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This is an interview with the virus writer WarGame, done in january 2012. You can find him or send e-mails to [email protected]

Have fun! :)

Hey wargame! Thanks for accepting the interview! Could you please begin descriping yourself; your age, where do you come from, what you do in RL, what are your hobbys, fav. music and so on :)

I am 22 years old and I come from a small village in the southern of Italy. In the real life I am a student of computer engineering. I like classic metal (old Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer and so on ...) and old school rock (Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and all the good rock of 70's). I like reading and travelling.

Nice taste of music. :) So you are from italy - I can not resist asking this: What do you think about italy's political system? What is your oppinion on Don Silvio, the 75year old womanizer :D

It's very difficult to understand the italian political system if you look at it through the eyes of an other country. In my opinion it is too conditioned by external powers (mafia and freemasonry) but there are many people that fight against this corrupted system. Few words about Berlusconi: no comment! (he is a shame for Italy).

Where did you get your handle from? From the great hackers movie WarGames in 1983? :)

Yes, from that nice film ;D

Does your family or friends know about this special hobby?

My family and my girlfriend know about my special hobby. My friends don't know about it because I think they would not understand

You have joined the scene many years ago. Why did you start to write viruses in the first place?

I discovered the world of viruses while I was playing with an old i386 with DOS (I do not remember the version). I booted that pc with a floppy disk infected by a boot virus, at the beginning I was a bit disappointed but after a bit I was very fascinated by that small piece of code (you know 512 byte :D). Everything started in that way. Then I started studying some programming languages (my favourite one is C) and after some months I began writing some small things.

Could you give us a summary of the project you were working on over the last years?

Of course.

I have also written some VCKs: the skype worm generator and an other one that generates boot records overwriting trojans for Windows.

Wow this is an impressive list! Turtle seems to be your last creation - could you please explain it a bit more in detail? What did it do, how does it work?

It's a rootkit for FreeBSD that can hide files and processes. It hooks some specific syscalls of the system to accomplish this task. The second version (Turtle2) has a simple backdoor that can be activated through ICMP packets to execute commands on the host system. It can also hide processes thanks to a modification of a linked list used by the kernel to rappresent the running processes. It was nice to go deep in the FreeBSD kernel :D

What are your favorite viruses of all time; and why do you like them? Which viruswriters do you respect most and what groups in your opinion r0cked?

I like a lot the happy99 worm because it was the first mail worm. The morrison worm because it was the first to use remote exploits to spread. Winux because it was the first cross platform PE/ELF infector. There are many other virii that I like but It would take a lot of time to list all of them. I respect a lot the 29a group, I think it's the best one. I like a lot the work of people like Griyo, z0mbie, Benny and the others belonging to the 29a. Their work inspired many people. I also like the work of herm1t on linux virii.

What virus technologies are you most interested in?

I am very interested in network worms and rootkits in general. Boot virii and bootkit are also very interesting for me.

Boot viruses in 2012? thats great! :) Do you have plans to write some for this age - like with network capability or for mobile devices? Any idea?

I would like to write a crossplatform bootkit/bootvirus but it will take a lot of time to be done

Let's imagine the perfect computer virus/worm in your opinion, how would it look like? Whats the perfect "virus of tomorrow"?

It's cross platform, self mutating and it can use multiple spreading vectors. An Android/IOS/MacOSX/Linux/Windows virus would be fantastic :D

What will you do in future as a viruswriter? Creating this "virus of tomorrow"? :-) Do you have a full to-do list?

I will work on PoC projects. My favourite fields are bootkits and the mobile systems. I would like to release some asm virii for ARM CPUs.

What do you think about viruses written in assembler? What about viruses written in HLL such as C, C++, C#, VB? And whats your opinion on viruses written in a script langauge?

I think that using assembler gives you more control and let you do things that can't be done with an HLL, but the best in the field of asm virii has already been done (take a look at 29a zines) ... so HLL worms/virii are the future (also mixed with asm). Think about an XSS worm: effective, elegant and all coded in js .

You have been member of DoomRiderz, who did released one nice e-zine but died after that. Could you please give us an overview of that group. What was its intention, who were involved, and why did you stop in the end?

I liked a lot staying in this group but at the end it died because all the members became idle ...

After DoomRiderz, you joined EOF again. Can you tell us a bit about this group?

EOF is a great group. We are trying to release more as we can but as you know it's becoming very difficult to collect good things for e-zines ... I hope it can go on.

Have you ever met some viruswriters in real life? Would you?

I have never met any viruswriter in the real like but I would like to. The italian vx scene is not very active :/ (the problem is that there is not a real vx scene in my country).

Do you know of former virus coder from italy? Did you ever had contact with one of them?!

I do not know any former virus coder from Italy. There are some active groups but they are interested in the field of IT security (like web attacks and so on) and not virus writing

Do you have contact to people from AVs? Would you ever consider to work in a AV company, to help them get their buggy programs running, such as many former viruswriter have done?

I have never had contact with anybody from AVs. Working in a AV company? I do not know ... spending all the time reversing some chinese packed/encrypted banker trojans doesn't look to be very funny :D (even if I like grabbing come crappy usb worms and reverse them just for fun)

How do you inform yourself about viruses? Which e-zines did you read in past? What is your oppinion on VirusBulletin or Journal in Computer Virology? Do you regulary read them?

I read a lot the blog of AV companies to be informed. I read in the past 29a zines, RRLF, Xine. I sometimes read VirusBulletin but I do not like much it.

What is your suggestion to young people who want to start writing viruses for fun, learn and develope new vx-technologies, ...? How should they start?

Everything must be driven by the passion. I suggest to young people to start studying some programming languages and everything will follow

There have been a shift to commercial viruswriting about 5-10 years ago. What's your thoughts about this?

I think that commercial viruswriting is destroying the real vx scene. Money corrupt.

Will these commercial viruses/worms/trojans fully displace the old hobby viruswriters, who worked for fun and did not harm anybody?

I hope that this will never happen.

A very interesting malware has been recognized in 2010 - Stuxnet. What do you think about it? Will such cyber weapon created by government agencies increase alot?

Stuxnet is a masterpiece. It uses the state of art techs in all of its parts. I think that such cyber weapons will increase because is simple to make a digital war, no men are involved.

It's a bit scaring (as the german government malware) when a malware gets used by any goverment agencies to go against the privacy of the citizens ...

Let's look into the future: How will be the virus situation in 2015 (3 years from now)? And what will be your long term prognosis for 2020 and 2050 (be creative!) :D

We will see more mobile malwares (android and IOS) in 2015 because mobile computing is becoming very widespreaded. I do not have long term prognosis, I just hope being alive ;D

Thanks alot wargame for the interview :-) Feel free to fill the rest of the doc with whatever you like (greets, sayings, ASCII-pr0n, ...)

A small quote: So di non sapere (Socrate)

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