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Infecting People - A Moral Issue?

Liquid Jesus
Insane Reality Magazine [8]
December 1996

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This article seems to be a collection of Liquid Jesus's philosophies about viruses in general, and delves into more then the title would indicate. Those who are saying 'What?? no code???' and are about to skip on to the next article, are depriving themselves of an interesting read. (Sepultura)

Before you start reading, I should warn you, the reader, that all the opinions displayed in this file are the sole property of me, liquid jesus. Any comments, positive or negative, should be directed towards me, and not towards any other IR-member. I would also like to point out that this file is largely going to concern my own feelings and thoughts, and that the "I-wanna-learn-how-to-code-really-k-rad-virii-now" wannabee will probably (read most certainly) find this very dull indeed. So what? Piss off! Get a life!

Oh yeah, before I begin. Please excuse my crappie English. I'm afraid that I'm losing my touch :(

Sentimental thoughts.

I remember my first, faltering, steps in coding. Not just virus coding, but coding in general (yes, I do have a real life). Collecting code was the real challenge. I mean, who can't remember the feeling of utter "I-am-elite" that surged through their bodies when they finally got access to an accepted virusboard, and found out that they had more source code on their own hdd's than that elite-board?

After a while, you had all the code, all the knowledge. You were really elite. You could rewrite an old virus into a non-detectable hack in a matter of minutes (Much of this is true in the demo-world aswell. Just take a look at the massive amounts of realeased source-code rewrites that exist today!).

In my opinion, these are the two earliest stages in the "coding-and-maturing"-process. The amount of time spent in each stage has to be individual. The interesting thing is when you finally come out the the rewrite-stage, and realize "hey. maybe I should try writing all my stuff from scratch!" or "hey! I wonder what would happen if I tried this instead. This should work!".

This is a process of awakening. Of self-recognition. This is where all the pieces of information that you have aquired in your "childhood" finally fall into place. You begin to get the whole picture. Suddenly, the horizons are further away. You look back at the stuff that you were struggling with a month ago, and laugh. You think "boy, was I lame. It was so simple, all the time!".

This is not just a heightened state of euforia. Not for long, anyway. This is where more global questions begin to enter your mind. Questions concernings the true nature of all that you're doing. Questions like "Why the hell am I busy learning how to code the perfect virus, when I know that I can't release it anyway?", like "In five years, what good will my intimate knowledge of the psp, the sft, the mcb, the dta, the mbr do me?", like "Why am I coding a thing, that society rejects without further thought, at all?".

You begin the question previously accepted truths and beliefs. The answer "because I want to be elite" just doesn't cling right, anymore. I my case, which is rather special, as I will come to later, there are several answers that might seem appropriate. One of these is probably the answer that most people will settle for : "because I wanted to see if I really could do it".

The "being able to code the impossible" feeling is the real rush that keeps you going. It the endorfine, man. Whats cooler than executing fake.com, seeing that the filesize remains a stable 4096 bytes. Whats cooler than doing a fc /b fake.com, fake.org and seeing that nothing has changed. Whats cooler than knowing that dos is lieing to you?

I'll tell you what's cooler. I'll tell you what really drives you.

Having other people say, "Woooow! How the hell did you do that?". Having other people look at you in awe, and say "You're sooooo cooool!!". This is the ultimate form of self-fulfilment (I think this is the word I'm looking for. I forgot my dictionary at home!). This is were you really are validated.

But! Wait a minute! These people who look up to you! Aren't they in the same position as you were a few years ago? When you looked up to people like Dark Avenger, Dark Angel, Hellraiser, Priest, and thought "These guys are untouchable! They are gods!" (Don't think that I by this comment am implying that I don't hold an enourmous respect for them. I do. It's just that it's a more sincere form of crafts-mans-respect.)

And so the circle continues.

Abit like buddhism, isn't it.

Where do virus come into the picture?

This is a very interesting question. But also a very important one.

When you know the true power of a real virus unleashed. When you know that about 95% of the normal, everyday users who get hit by a virus, have about a zero percent chance of detecting it (especially when you can't even detect it yourself!). This is when you begin to consider what you really are doing, and why you are doing it.

One thing really surprises me here. Why hasn't anybody realeased a really virulent virus, with an incubationtime of about a week, that just trashed everything without warning? This is one of the reasons why I actually believe my maturing-theory. When you finally understand how the real virus works, you also understand the true power that it wields.

One of the main driving forces behind virus coding is the need to feel power. To feel that you really are a part of the elite few. Because this is exactly what we are dealig with here. Don't ever underestimate the capabilities of the ultimate virus (for all I know, it may be residing in my MBR, even as I speak!). It could change the world.

This is the picture that the media want the average Joe to have of viruses, and viruscoders in particular. What would have happened if the antivirus community didn't exist? If nobody made any money off selling products that protect you from a blownup threat?

If McAfee didn't exist, if S&S International never formed? Would the computerworld be overrun by virus? Would everybodies computer die on March 6:th?

I think not.

I have personally released three virus-killers. These killers took care of viruses that had infected either my, or one of my friends computers. Virus that actually had made it out into the wild, and survived for some time. Virus that actaully were a threat. And I did it for free.

As soon as a virus is detected in the wild, some programmer (either virus, or just freak) will sit down, debug it, and write a fix. And some weeks/months later, the fix will appear in Dr. Solomons AntiVirus Toolkit, and the number of detectable virii will have grown. Just to make the apparent threat that much larger. I mean, who doesn't shit himself when they see that there are over 6000 virus in the wild. Otherwise Toolkit wouldn't be needed.

I haven't counted, but I know that I haven't been infected with 6000 different virii. I don't think I've even been infected by six. Oh well. Maybe I'm just careful.

This last part wasn't meant to be included in the original file, but I had a few minutes before lunch, so I decided to get some more of my thoughts down on disk.

Who infects who? And why?

Once again, I'll start with a little bit of history. And as per usual, all the history will come from my biased mind. Correct me, if I'm wrong.

1701. This virus is legendary. This and Jerusalem. Although this was back when people knew that virus wouldn't hit them. Hell, I remeber the respect I had for my dad when he patched 1704. Just 'cos it invaded his drive. And of course, he gave the patch to his friends.

This was a kind of "virus-good-ol-days", when people never had been hit by any virus that did any kind of damage. Hell, it was almost cool to have a virus on yer drive. Virii were considered something magical, awe-inspiring. And I don't think that the antivirus market was even born. Or if it was, it sure wasn't as commercial as it is today.

The real change in things happened a few years back, and culminated with the Tormentor story.

The swedish virus community was growing quite a bit, with almost every "elite" board having its own virus exchange. Needless to say, I was on quite a few ;)

Viruscoding was still a child, and people had the kind of attitude that led them to reason "hey, I've got a load of runtime virii on my board. I'm a virus-expert". An unavoidable period according to me. Virus source spread like wildfire, as did the thrive to collect it. Soon a swedish computer magazine pointed out several "virus-boards", and made clear that all virusrelated people were evil, teenage, acme-infected computer freaks, who, because they didn't fit into society, raged against it with devastating computer viruses. Yeah, sure.

Then, along came Tormentor (okay, he had probably been learning, coding, doing whatever all along), and the media quickly saw their big chance.

Since then, coding virus has been an outlaw thing. Which ofcourse, does have a bad side to it as well. Many people started with virus coding, just because it was sooo cool to be outlaw, and to do stuff that only the clever, dark side of the computer community were really allowed to do.

To cut this short, as I really don't have that much inspiration for the time being, the virus community practicaly exploded. Alot of people were left fumbling in the dark, asking each other silly questions, and all in all happy with their overwriting 666 byte ripoffs.

The real problem today though, is just who do you infect with your masterpiece.

As I wrote before, letting the most undetectable virus loose really doesn't have any effect. I mean, it will spread to just about every computer there is, but then what? You could ofcourse trash everything. I mean, really take the whole computer world down. But why?

That's the big question why. Why infect anybody?

Some people argue that it's a good way to nuke a lamer. Bah! A simple trojan horse .exe called doom2.exe or something will do the trick a lot simpler, and cleaner.

Then ofcourse, some people do it just to prove that they can code a virus. Okay, this is unavoidable. The only problem is that people don't really care which virus they get hit by, nowadays. If we're lucky, they see that f-prot says "I'm sorry, it looks like you're infected with lamo-2082 by liquid jesus" before they press the yes button and get rid of it.

Maybe the future will give viruscoders some real reason to code. Maybe you could overthrow some dictator with a virus? That would be cool. But, then again, who would thank you?

I'm currently in the swedish army, where I do my military service as a programmer. Recently, the decided to send me and a friend (who also is a programmer) to some remote, and very cold place in Sweden, where we could get the necessary wintertraining, so that we could kill innocent people when the evil russians invade Sweden. This was about the only time that I have ever felt like realeasing a virus into the wild. I seriously though about infecting ever single computer down here, and have them go down a few days before I was set to leave. If the didn't let me stay home and fix the shit, which ofcourse would have been pretty easy, I though about have a weeks delay, then wacko! everything dies.

This is the kind of sick power that many viruscoders must feel that they possess. I know that I sure feel that way. The problem is, against who or what are you going to unleash it. For it really is a vicious power indeed, if used correctly. Just because I thought it was a good idea, fighting the power, doesn't mean that anybody else though it was true and fair.

I have written about twelve kays now, and I sure haven't solved any problems or answered any questions. I wrote this just because I think that this was an issue that needed to be adressed. Any and all comments are welcome. Please, answer the questions I ask. I just know what I think, and sometime, this just isn't enough.

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