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Windows 7: What is the origin of computer viruses?


09 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
What is the origin of computer viruses?

My friend and I were having a discussion where most viruses come from. He for some reason believe that 80% of computer viruses are perpetrated by AntiVirus and computer companies to fuel their next product, whereas I believe it's sad lifeless basement hermits with nothing better to do? Does anyone know where most computer viruses come from... I've searched on the internet but it onl;y gives vague answers...

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09 Apr 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate Professional x64
 
 

Hello bud,
REAL Computer viruses are designed by crafty and extrememly smart people. They are released to gather information on other users and to sometimes steal credit card info/ personal i dentities. I don't understand why people do it. But they do, and we have to protect ourselvres in turn.

Hope this helps,
Ben
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09 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I'm still in discussion with my friend, we both agree that people do it maliciously but, is it the AV companies peddling these viruses or what i believe fraudsters and people sdoing it out of boredom and malice?
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09 Apr 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
 
 

I'll assure you that's all you will find...vague answers
most of them are created by brainiacs that have a lot of time to spare and want to prove their skills in the underground community and the other explication it's also true, some companies create a virus string and use the internet to advertise it's antivirus solution like being the first that detects and remove those infections, but sometimes the things get out of hand and the virus will cause more damage that it is supposed to...
and the ultimate reason, it's of course money, like viruses that are created to steal and crack all kinds of banking accounts or accounting information from various companies
like i said in the begging, those are just some vague answers, the truth it's hidden somewhere in the middle and it will stay there for a long time...
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09 Apr 2010   #5

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

As mentioned by maranello, Virus Protection is a business just like any other and a legitimate business strategy is to create viruses in order to become the first company to stop such a virus. While this may happen, it's probably not as widespread as you think.

I'm quite certain that the AV Companies have enough on their plate attempting to protect you from the legitimate viruses that are out there. There are a million reasons to create a virus. One being money of course, if one wants to steal credit card info and/or steal an identity. Another reason is pride, if one wishes to show other black hat users that they can create the most destructive virus. Some viruses are also created by white hat hackers who are attempting to expose security threats because they are paid to do so. How are you supposed to proactively protect against viruses if you don't have a few of the people who create viruses on your side.

The simple answer is that the majority of viruses are created due to economics. Either in order for the AV companies to make money, the black hats to make money or for the white hats to make money. However, there are also people out there who just create viruses because they can.

If by some miracle of the universe the "hackers" of the world were to stop creating viruses, I don't believe that viruses would stop appearing on the internet. AV Programs are a multi-million dollar industry and there's just no way that those corporations are going to say "Hey, you don't need us anymore."
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09 Apr 2010   #6

windows 7 ultimate 64 bit,Windows 7 ultimate 32 bit,Windows XP sp3 home
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sarf321 View Post
My friend and I were having a discussion where most viruses come from. He for some reason believe that 80% of computer viruses are perpetrated by AntiVirus and computer companies to fuel their next product, whereas I believe it's sad lifeless basement hermits with nothing better to do? Does anyone know where most computer viruses come from... I've searched on the internet but it onl;y gives vague answers...
conspiracy theories sadly dog practically any and every field...you can bet your bottom dollar that first virus were created as a practical joke..then as with every fad....it's evolved into a full grown syndicate.
those in favour of such CT levy such accusations:
first one to know,first providing the solution in order to promote their own products and services.
but honestly trust is a key ingredient and no respectable company would be willing to jeopardize its entire existence for temporary gain.Look at Iobit saga where stealing database lost them every ounce of credibility.

this has been discussed before too on 7 forums

A few reads for those with time to spare:
Computer virus
av co framing rival for distributing malware
A Short History of Computer Viruses and Attacks
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09 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7 & Windows Vista Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by thathagat View Post
but honestly trust is a key ingredient and no respectable company would be willing to jeopardize its entire existence for temporary gain.Look at Iobit saga where stealing database lost them every ounce of credibility.
+1

Good answer! I agree completely. (Sorry, I have to spread rep before I can give you more.)

sarf321,

Although there is a small percentage who create viruses just to prove they can, the objective is pure and simple: financial gain. These fraudsters are after lining their pockets.
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09 Apr 2010   #8

Windows 7
 
 

The first virus I ever experienced was in College in the computer lab, before internet. The virus spread via 5" floppy disks being inserted in an infected machine, and used in another machine, which was normal in these computer labs. A few weeks later, EVERY machine started playing "yankee Doodle" all at the same time every hour on the hour. Apparently a student just did it to be funny, or to prove he could. So yes, many people see this as a challenge, some people do it to make a name for themselves, some people to show off and some to actually cause damage, and then some to try to steal information. But no, I HIGHLY doubt any well known Anti Virus company would write viruses, they don't need to, there are plenty of viruses anyways. It's kind of like a cop giving out tickets, why would he need to make something up when he could easily find lots of people to give tickets to.

Edit: If you are going to be a conspiracy theorist, the best case for a conspiracy would be governments, not Anti-virus companies. Theoretical examples being China, taking out sites that it can't censor for some reason, or some terrorist organization taking out enemies computer systems/websites.
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09 Apr 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by thathagat View Post
conspiracy theories sadly dog practically any and every field...you can bet your bottom dollar that first virus were created as a practical joke..then as with every fad....it's evolved into a full grown syndicate.
those in favour of such CT levy such accusations:
first one to know,first providing the solution in order to promote their own products and services.
but honestly trust is a key ingredient and no respectable company would be willing to jeopardize its entire existence for temporary gain.Look at Iobit saga where stealing database lost them every ounce of credibility.

this has been discussed before too on 7 forums

A few reads for those with time to spare:
Computer virus
av co framing rival for distributing malware
A Short History of Computer Viruses and Attacks
A very good and wise answer.
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09 Apr 2010   #10

Windows 7
 
 

Another thing that sparked the rumor that AV companies were writing viruses was when people found the "test sample virus" (eicar) string in the anti-virus directory. People that installed a 2nd anti virus would see this as a virus when one AV scanned the other AV's files. This caused a lot of ignorant people to think that the Anti Virus company was the one writing viruses and spread that rumor.
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 What is the origin of computer viruses?




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