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Virus Based Products

Fred Cohen
Infectious Disease Magazine [3]
1993

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I am surprised that so many well respected Virus-L readers and writers failed to understand the implication of creating 1500 viruses per day that are not detected by existing scanners. The point is that the number or percentqge of viruses detected is not as important as the effect of the product.

Of the CARO collection of over 1500 viruses, only a small portion have ever been found at a substantial number of sites, and many are collector-only viruses that have never appeared in the wild.

I am quite astounded by the concept that creating viruses in the privacy of my home should offend anti-virus types. In fact, I have had automated virus generation systems running for several years. At one point, I was trying to create ecosystems by randomly generating tens of thousands of candidates per day, many of which were successful viruses. Why does this offend other researchers? And I take it from some of the comments that these researchers have NEVER created a virus of their own to explore the concept! It's sad that people who have never tried it feel free to condemn it. Or have they done it and simply don't have the integrity to admit it?

ASP has already introduced one virus-based commercial product (which has never been detected as a virus by any scanner) which operates quite well, and we are in the process of creating another virus-based product designed to operate in LANs. Our users don't seem to be offended by the optimization of resource utilization, automated distribution and installation, high reliability, and small space used by our products based on viruses, but it seems to offend the anti-virus community that all of their overblown claims about all viruses being bad are being undercut by benevolent viruses that are safe and reliable. In fact, most of our viruses work on far more systems than most virus defenses, and they don't spread where they are not supposed to go. They are easy to control and remove, they are compatable with every DOS based system we have seen to date, and they have never generated any unintended side-effects. Kinda blows the whole "all viruses are bad" thing, huh!

NEW PRODUCT ANOUNCEMENT - BENEVOLENT VIRUSES IN LANS AUTOMATE MUCH OF LAN MANAGEMENT - ANTI-VIRUS COMMUNITY SHUDDERS - SCANNER PRODUCTS MUST ADAPT TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN KNOWN GOOD VIRUSES AND VARIENTS CREATED BY BAD VIRUS WRITERS - FOR DETAILS CONTACT ASP

P.S. considering the people who agree with my recent postings, I may have been wrong - nah - you know you're not saying much when everyone agrees with you - the lemmings to the sea thing and all.

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