Viruses- why do they do it?

I’ve been wondering about this lately. I have a pretty good antivirus program- the freeware version of AVGuard, which I keep forgetting to update and as a consequence, my computer recently picked up a virus. Getting rid of it wasn’t a problem but still…

I have to wonder about the mentality of the people who write these things and turn them loose in the cyberverse. If you have a grudge against a particular company and want to hack into its system to mess them up, thereby exacting revenge, that’s one thing.

But why would somebody want to write a program that would be transmitted via e-mail or downloads to total strangers who have never so much as said mean things to them and hurt their feelings?

I’ll never understand what makes people tick…

like any fringe behavior there are a myriad of reasons.

For the challenge of witting the perfect virus. This type usually isn’t very malicious they just write them for fun. The problem comes in when they ‘trade’ the virus to one of the other types.

For the notoriety. Sort of like the first type only this person WANTS to destroy something or do something others will notice

b/c they flat have criminal intentions. They want to steal something and write a virus to help

and the avengers. This seems like a fairly new crop of people but they want to catch people with kiddie porn and destroy the other persons computer. These are also the people that are going after spammers.

George Santayana: “To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.”

There’s a thrill to destroying things just for the sake of making some kind of impact on the world, is my guess. I hate it, but I understand it. Reminds me of another applicable quotation, from Quentin Crisp:

“To know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody.”

My analogy works like this:

Most people can more or less understand (though they presumably do not share) the attitude that leads some people to produce graffiti.

Now suppose there was a type of graffiti that, once painted on the side of one building, magically appeared on buildings all over town. Do you suppose the graffiti artists might find this interesting?

      • Many viruses send a signal out over the internet to a target e-mail address or server containing the infected ISP # and time/date. It’s often a contest you see, to see who can infect the most machines the fastest. Many viren don’t do things directly destructive, just anoying. Of course, many do other much more unbecoming things (many now hijack for spam mailing or DDOS attacks), but there you go.

Don’t forget that Microsoft Windows is (by default) about as secure as a screen door on a submarine, so there’s always the “casual vandalism” factor at work as well.

Some Windows users like to claim Windows is the most-targeted OS because it’s the most widely used OS, but they can’t explain why Apache web server (the most popular web server on the internet) isn’t targeted by viruses as much as Microsoft’s IIS server is.