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V. Bontchev «Are 'Good' Computer Viruses Still a Bad Idea?» (27690)
J. Aycock, A. Maurushat «"Good" Worms and Human Rights» (17132)
F. Cohen «A Case for Benevolent Viruses» (14100)
MidNyte «Argument For A 'Good' Virus» (12535)
I. Witten, H. Thimbleby «The worm that turned: A social use of computer viruses» (11959)

Library: Good viruses and worms

John Aycock, Alana Maurushat
«"Good" Worms and Human Rights» 28.87Kb 17132 hits
Technical Report 2006-846-39, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary (2006)
The extent of Internet censorship in countries like China is regularly tested, but the testing methods used from within a censored country can entail risk for humans. A benevolent worm can be used for testing instead: the worm's self-replication, long the bane of suggested benevolent viruses and worms, is shown to be essential here. We describe the design of this benevolent worm, along with some other related applications for it. A full technical, ethical, and legal analysis is provided.
Vesselin Bontchev
«Are 'Good' Computer Viruses Still a Bad Idea?» 68.83Kb 27690 hits
Proc. EICAR’94 Conf., pp. 25-47. (1994)
This paper is an attempt to summarize why exactly the general public appreciates computer viruses as something inherently bad. It is also considering several of the proposed models of 'beneficial' viruses and points out the problems in them.
Fred Cohen
«A Case for Benevolent Viruses» 35.47Kb 14100 hits (1991)
In recent months, a controversy has arisen in the electronic and print media as to the viability of benevolent computer viruses and the morality of a contest to find useful applications of this technology. In this paper, we discuss the issues related to applying computer viruses for good instead of evil.We begin with some background on viruses and related topics in `life-like' computational organisms. Next we examine some of the major problems facing the current global computing environment and how viruses have the potential for helping to solve these problems. We then consider several widely stated arguments against the application of computer viruses for useful purposes and provide counterpoints.
Eugene Kaspersky
«Cruncher - The First Beneficial Virus?» 9.54Kb 8974 hits
Viruis Bulletin, June 1993, pp. 8-9 (1993)
The first time I ever heard about the dispute over whether there could ever be such a thing as a useful virus was many years ago, when I was analysing the first virus I had ever seen. One of the articles which I read at the time was about the definition of a computer virus and the philosophical aspects of viruses. The article went on to discuss what the future might hold, and whether or not one could ever have a useful virus.At the time, I was not ready to take a firm standing point on this issue - in fact, I’m still not ready to decide. For example, a well-written boot sector virus which looked for lost clusters could arguably be useful. Once you begin to consider the beneficial things a virus could do, the list is rather long. There is a multitude of small ‘housekeeping’ tasks which a virus could perform, all of which could be inserted into the virus’ algorithm.I hope that this does not appear to be propaganda for the legitimacy of virus writing. Computer viruses bring immense problems with them, and seriously compromise the security of machines. However, life brings a lot of surprises, and to become fixed with one particular viewpoint is always a bad idea - one of these surprises was that the Earth is not flat, but round as a ball. In the 15th Century, who would have thought it!
John Markoff
«Can Computer Viruses Be Domesticated to Serve Mankind?» 6.98Kb 11839 hits
The New York Times (1991)
[...] Biologists have learned to harness viruses to create vaccines and, in recent years, to reprogram faulty chromosomes by using viruses to smuggle new genes into cells. Now a small but growing group of computer scientists is examining the possibility of designing computer viruses and similar programs called worms to burrow into computer networks and set in motion a whole range of beneficial activities. [...]
«Argument For A 'Good' Virus» 28.82Kb 12535 hits
Final Chaos [1] (1999)
I have decided to show how I think a good virus is possible, but I will not be insisting that this is a good virus, simply that Bontchev and his followers are wrong in the assumption that no virus could be 'good'.
Suzana Stojakovic-Celustka
«The grand debate about beneficial viruses and artificial life» 6.48Kb 10681 hits
Alive Vol I, Issue 1 (1994)
In the previous articles, three more or less different viewpoints about beneficial viruses and artificial life were presented. The topic is undoubtedly interesting. Could computer viruses be beneficial? What is artificial life? Are computer viruses the form of artificial life or not? Is it ethical to play with such things?...etc...The questions are numerous. The answers, opinions and approaches can vary widely - from the scientific (and somewhat controversial) interests of Fred Cohen and Mark Ludwig, pragmatic (and somewhat sceptical) approach of Vesselin Bontchev till vague and possibly confused opinions of "average computer user" and spurious intentions of anonymous virus writers today.
Harold Thimbleby
«Can Viruses Ever Be Useful?» 13.87Kb 5828 hits
Computers & Security, 10 (1991) 111-114 (1991)
Most of the terms used for computer viruses are metaphors: they have a largely medical origin, and are seductive if not literally sexy. The very real worries we have about AIDS, for example, no doubt colour the way we talk about computer viruses. At the extreme, abstractly viruses are clearly just algorithms, and like any other algorithm they are good for some things and not good for others. This article tries to take a dispassionate view of viruses, despite the fact that almost all of the ones we’ve seen so far are malicious. If the views expressed here are as a result contentious, then so be it.Everyone is going to be affected by current developments in computers, through personal organisers, electronic funds transfers, personal records on smartcards, to communications devices such as fancy telephones. Certainly, computers are getting everywhere, from smart cards to ISDN cards in PCs. In every case, the technology is used for communication and flexibility (or programmability). However, communication and flexibility are the ecological niche of viruses and worms. Is there a tradeof: can some of the benefits be made available without succumbing to the threats? Might some of the benefits outweigh some of the dangers? Despite the obvious disadvantages of viruses now, this article argues that they have - to a limited extent! - a constructive role for the future. Optimistically, I think viruses are going to bring about several changes in computing which will be beneficial. Most people acknowledge that electronic vandalism at least exposes security loopholes and in the long run this is beneficial (unless the company goes bust on the first security breach), but there are other possibilities.
«Why a "good" virus is good idea» 8.9Kb 11699 hits
29a [5] (2000)
Back in 1997, the well known antivirus expert Vesselin Bontchev wrote an article giving twelve reasons to proof viruses are always a bad idea.That's too pedantic for my vx taste, then i decided to write this article explaining why a "good" virus can be a good idea.
Ian Witten, Harold Thimbleby
«The worm that turned: A social use of computer viruses» 29.76Kb 11959 hits
Computer viruses have become the bane of personal computers. But can similar mechanisms be used to spread new information and update old information for the benefit of users?
10 authors, 10 titles
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