[ISN] Virus writers 'obsessed with sex and computer games'

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Aug 28 2002 - 02:05:00 PDT

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    By John Leyden
    Posted: 27/08/2002 at 16:04 GMT
    Virus writers are sados obsessed with sex and computer games, not the
    evil geniuses Hollywood and fear-mongering Washington politicians
    portray them as.
    That's the view of Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at
    Sophos, who said "virus writers are much more likely to be teenage
    males than crack cyberterrorists bent on the annihilation of the
    Cluley poured cold water on the notion that viruses might bring down
    critical systems, pointing out that most are spread by email and are
    relatively easy to defend against. Viruses are a nuisance but those
    who elevate their threat are actually doing a disservice to security
    by misstating their importance, he added.
    In anti-virus circles, Cluley is well known for describing virus
    writers (VXers) in less than flattering terms, once memorably saying
    they only wrote malicious code because they were spotty teenage nerds
    who couldn't pull.
    Now gaming, as well as salacious sexual themes (for example, the Anna
    Kournikova worm) are becoming mainstays among virus writers. These
    themes show the preoccupations of both virus writers and those they
    are targeting with their malicious code, Cluley reckons.
    The latest viruses, such as the DuLoad worm, which has the potential
    to infect PCs connected to the KaZaA file sharing network, and Surnova
    worm, have filenames related to gaming.
    For example, the DuLoad worm disguises itself by randomly using a pool
    of 39 filenames. These filenames - which reflect a preoccupation with
    sex, celebrity, computer games and hacking - include 'J. Lo Bikini
    Screensaver.exe', 'Kama Sutra Tetris.exe', 'Free Mpegs.exe' and 'The
    Sims Game crack.exe', as well as some pornographic references.
    Cluley's previous sociological analysis of virus writing has been less
    than favourably received among VXers themselves.
    Most notably he clashed with female virus writer Gigabyte (creator of
    the first virus that used Microsoft's C# language), who lambasted
    Cluley as sexist for his comments on Usenet newsgroups.
    Far from being sexist, Cluley told us, his remarks only reflected the
    idea the girls were generally "too sensible" to write viruses
    (patronising bastard - Ed).
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