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College Classes on Virus Writing

The Schultz Information Center.Image via Wikipedia

This one is interesting. Newsweek story picked up by Techdirt on colleges teaching students how to write computer viruses. On the face of it, not a god idea. But look again. I’ve never had any joy with anti-virus programs, one of the reasons I’m Mac-based now. “Know your enemy”? Maybe it’ll work:

Theodp writes in to let us know about an article in Newsweek about a course being taught at Sonoma State University by George Ledin, where students are tasked with creating their own malware. Once again, various security companies are condemning the technique, even sinking so low as to compare Ledin to A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani scientist who sold nuclear technology to North Korea. They even insist they won’t hire his students — which seems particularly short-sighted. As Ledin points out, it appears that this is really more about the security companies wanting to keep the world more scared than they need to be of malware, so as to pretend that they’re the only ones who can solve the “problem” — when the truth is they’re not very effective at it. He complains that anti-virus firms keep their code secret (thank you, DMCA). He points out that if they were willing to open it up, and let lots of folks work on improving it, it would get much, much better. All he’s trying to do is help more people understand the enemy without first having to work at one of those companies that’s been so ineffective in stopping malware — in the hopes that maybe some of his students can actually come up with a better soltuion.

[From College Classes On Malware Writing Still Piss Off Anti-Virus Firms]

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Monday, 4 August 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment