|04 Aug 2011||#1|
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Why Hackers Write Computer Viruses
Why do hackers hack? Why create a worm that sends out an email to everyone in your contact list, or a Trojan that deletes your term papers? Is it mischief, malice, money, or something else entirely?
This is the question that was on my mind when I met with Mikko Hypponen, a legendary computer security heavyweight who has been hunting viruses for 25 years—since Brain.a, the first PC computer virus.
From the plaza, I walked out to a seat by the water facing the San Francisco Bay. Hypponen was there, waiting for me. I sat down next to him. I felt like we needed code phrases.
"What makes this a New Orleans iced coffee," he asked, as he accepted his drink.
"It's the chicory," I replied.
"Did you know the Finns drink more coffee per capita than any other nation?"
"I did know that," I replied. "I know a lot about coffee."
Okay! I guess we had our code phrases after all.
Hypponen is the lead security researcher for F-Secure in Finland. His takedowns and diagnosis include some of the nastiest, biggest computer viruses out there: Sobig.F, Sasser, Storm Worm. PC World called him one of the 50 most important people on the Web. Hypponen was on his way to a black hat conference in Las Vegas.
We met at the Ferry Plaza in San Francisco, sitting by the pier as commuter boats came and went. I wanted to ask him about the long history of personal computer viruses, now in their 25th year, from the simple to Stuxnet, and the shifting motivations that inspire virus writers to act. We had an hour....
|My System Specs|
|04 Aug 2011||#2|
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Interesting article, thanks for sharing it. Two particularly scary statements:
Late last year, Hypponen was going through his records at F-Secure. He found a box with the 100 first computer viruses, all on floppy disks. "These are probably from five years or more," says Hypponen, "now more than that are written in one hour."
"The source of malware today is 99 percent criminal gangs, and that's a pretty nasty development," says Hypponen. "We didn't used to have to worry in the real world. But now there are organized criminal gangs, making millions from their attacks. When we shut down their operations, they know who we are."
|My System Specs|
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