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Interview with Lucifer/Messiah

Sarah Gordon

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(the following is the text which appeared before the interview - this was not written by Ms. Gordon)

"Who are they? Why are they doing it? Virus authors have been seen as paranoid, secretive, anti-social but are they? In this article two legendary virus authors give their reasons for doing what they did."

"One of the perennial questions is why do they do it? Often asked at conferences and seminars, ordinary folk want to know why virus authors write viruses. The desire to understand - as some sort of process to build effective defences against viruses - is very strong. This month sees the start of a series in which Sara Gordon interviews two legendary figures in the virus community.

One of the difficulties in understanding viruses, virus authors and the virus community is the inherent secrecy and paranoia of its population. However, the anti-virus community does communicate although it is always via e-mail on the Internet - never directly.

As with the interview with the Dark Avenger printed in Virus News International last year, Sara Gordon has taken considerable care to establish that the respondents are genuine. Sara Gordon is herself a professional in the area of Cyberspace - a collective term for all on-line systems.

Pseudonyms taken by virus authors are meant to conceal their true identity. They are also a means of donning another character - typical of the sort of thing done by fantasy-games players (although this is not to suggest that such games players are involved in nefarious activities). Names like Dark Avenger, Hellraiser, Black Baron and Lucifer Messiah give a certain presence to what are just ordinary folk.

Current research indicates that most virus authors are adolescent males. As with other habitues of on-line systems many live out an existence which is alotgether more exciting - swashbuckling, even - than their more humdrum lives in real life.

Another aspect of interviewing members of this community is that the communication is always written. Some of the respondents' writing skills (and this is not meant to be a derogatory) are not that high and so they tend to come across less well than they would, for example, in a telephone interview. To some extent the on-line community has tried to short-cut some of the deficiencies of the medium by introducing symbols which indicate the tone of the written comment. These are called emoticons of which the sideways smiley :) is the most common.

Virus writing is widely regarded as an anti-social, and in some quarters illegal, activity. We take a neutral position for the purpose of this series of interviews. While it may be more comfortable to adopt the moral high-ground, it does not actually contribute to the solution."

Lucifer Messiah: the name is chilling, but the man behind the mask is one of the most decent people I have ever spoken to. Hellraiser: more demonic images of youth gone mad? He too has proven to be a bright and charming young man.

These two have more in common than their satanically-inspired aliases. Both are members of virus writing groups; both have written and allegedly distributed computer viruses. There is, however, one difference. Lucifer Messiah writes viruses and is now affiliated with PCScav, a computer 'research' group based in Canada. Hellraiser, a member of the Phalcon/Skism virus writing group, says he has stopped writing viruses.

My introduction to Lucifer Messiah, who also uses the alias Chris Boyd, came about this year. I have known Hellraiser for approximately two years. They have had similar experiences, but have taken radically different paths. Why is one still writing viruses, while the other has left it all behind? I decided the best way to find out was to ask them. Here are some insights into the minds of these two individuals.

People are always curious as to why a virus writer writes viruses. I have found there are no 'simple answers', but if you had to give one 'reason' what would it be?

Lucifer: The intrigue of coming up with new technologies. I enjoy making the computer do what it isn't supposed to be able to do.

Hellraiser: All throughout my life I have been involved with the negative side of my pastimes. For instance, when I was younger I was an heavily into art, but instead of doing my work on a canvas with oils - I did it on a wall with spray paint.

Naturally when it came to computers I once again found myself on the 'dark side'. Instead of writing utility programs and such, I started writing viruses. Instead of calling BBS systems I started hacking into computer systems. It is best wrapped up by saying - I find it much easier to accomplish negative actions, than positive - thus my drive for writing viruses.

At what age did you become involved with computers (not viruses). Can you describe your initial experiences with computers? How were you taught; by yourself, or by an instructor, parent or friend?

Lucifer: 14 years old. I got a Vic 20 at the Yule. They boot up in Basic, so I learned from that. The magazines were very helpful. I got some Tandy I think not too long after that. I took Computer through high school as well.

Hellraiser: I would have to say around the age of 13 or 14. That Christmas, I got my first home computer, an Atari XE with 8Kb of RAM! After begging my parents for two weeks I got a storage device for it (a data cassette drive) to save all of my Basic programs. There wasn't much to do on the system, being as how I had no software - much less a modem. So I typed in hundreds of lines of Basic code (10 lines of Basic code, hundreds of data statements) from magazines like Compute.

I started to learn Basic myself off these examples, and in no time I was good enough to scare the hell out of my neighbors' little brother with an incredible War-Games simulation (the fact there was a thunderstorm that day that really added to the effect). All the great XE action ended abruptly when I smashed the damn thing in a fit of anger after I couldn't load the Space Invaders game [I] blew eight dollars on.

After the XE days my only contact with computers was at school. I worked with such relics as the TRS-80, Apple IIE, and the original IBM PC in high school (I am hinting [at] my age). About all I did was program little junk programs in Basic, and mess around the machine code. Nothing spectacular.

It was a few years later that I was able to use a computer again, when my father brought home a new 286 clone. To top it off, the thing had a 1200 bps modem. From then on I have become a true computer hacker (in the good and bad sense of the word).

What different operating systems did you learn, and in what order did you learn them?

Lucifer: I started with Basic. The Vic 20 doesn't really have an operating system. After that, whatever the name of the Tandy operating system was. There no such thing as DOS yet. Maybe it was a hybrid CP/M. In school, it was AT&T UNIX all along. I never used DOS until 3 years ago. I don't really like it.

Hellraiser: I have to say that DOS was the first full O/S that I learned, which I taught myself. Later on I picked up UNIX by hacking into systems and just playing around. I played with VMS for a small amount of time but found it very boring. And lately I have been learning the new GUIs - OS/2 and Windows/NT. All of which I taught myself.

What different languages did you learn, and in what order did you learn them?

Lucifer: I started programming in FORTRAN. I hated it. I hate math! Then Pascal and C came along, and I was in heaven. When I learned about assembly, I stopped programming in Pascal altogether, and only sometimes in C. I also use APL, the different varieties of AWK, ummm, Lisp, a little COBOL. I'm not showing off. This is what we had to learn in school.

Hellraiser: As I mentioned above - Basic was my first language. Much later on (when I got a PC) I picked up Pascal and started writing cool little utilities and BBS doors. When the whole virus thing came into play, I knew I had to learn ASM, and fast. So that was the next step. After I stopped coding viruses, I picked up C. At this time I am learning C++.

What is the highest level of education you have completed?

Lucifer: 3 years of college.

Hellraiser: I left college after two years for financial reasons.

Do you plan to go further in school? If you do, why? If not, why not?

Lucifer: No. I'm 27 years old! I may take the odd night [school] course. I've been enjoying the presentations put on by Intel, and that sort of thing. I guess that's an education.

Hellraiser: If I could, I would at the drop of a dime. The problem is I don't have the money for it. Plus I have a life and responsibilities. Right now and I would find it very hard to drop them all to go back to school. Let's just say the only way I might get back into school is if I come into a lot of money real quick.

What person, non virus writer (non computer related), do you have the most respect for.

Lucifer: My mother, I guess. She's really cool.

Hellraiser: I would have to say, my mother. She has been though a lot of strife over the years, a large portion of which is my fault. Yet she still stays happy and positive. I could never be that way.

What person, non virus writer (non computer related), do you have the most disrespect for?

Lucifer: Bob Rae/Kim Cambell/Brian Mulroney. They are all actually incarnates of each other. They are a 'collective', each branching from past lives as hedgehogs with brains the size of peas.

Hellraiser: I can't pick just one person so I have to say politicians, because they get away with so much stuff; stuff that would have me or you in jail for life. When they get caught all they get is a slap on the wrist. If I bounced hundreds of checks where would I be right now?

Now, what person computer related (non virus writer) do you have most respect for?

Lucifer: You. Just kidding. Do I get more brownie points?

I used to respect Peter Norton because he had the coolest software, but he has been really slipping. His latest books leave much to hope. I really respect Bill Gates. I don't necessarily like his DOS, but I sure like what he has with it! $$$$$$

Hellraiser: That's a tough one. The problem is I can not think of anybody computer related I have a tremendous amount of respect for. Don't get me wrong I have respect for a lot of people in the field, but I can't pinpoint anyone in general.

What person, computer related, but still non-virus writer, do you have most disrespect for?

Lucifer: Ross Greenberg. Where does he get his facts from? He is so full of it!

Hellraiser: I would have to say Bill Gates. I know he has accomplished a lot for himself, and he is a person that should be admired, but I just do not trust him. I don't like the way he makes billions off poorly-made products that sell just because of the name Microsoft. It's like the emperor's new clothes, and Bill is very naked.

What virus writer do you have the most respect for?

Lucifer: None, really. I don't like to lick boots. I find Dark Avenger's ideas to be grand, but his programming is sloppy. Perhaps the guys from Trident. Their Cruncher viruses were much smaller than Cohen ever imagined.

Hellraiser: No doubt, Dark Angel. Not only is he a good friend, but he's is a very smart person. What really makes me respect him is his willingness to teach. That aspect is very rare for a virus writer.

What virus writer do you have most disrepect for?

Lucifer: All of NuKE.

Hellraiser: Rock Steady. This guy knows about as much as I did two years ago and he never stops bragging about how great he is. He's sort of the 'Bill Gates' of the virus world. He controls lame people with hype for lame product. I hate this guy.

Can you describe for me your initial (first) experience with a virus writing group. This does not have to be the first group you joined or created or worked with or for. I mean, the first time you ever heard of a group, please tell me your impressions as you remember them. Please be as specific as possible.

Lucifer: I played around with a Scandanavian hacking group. I don't want to get into details about that scene. They aren't just a hacking group, as you know. You probably heard what they did at NASA three years ago.

A guy I went to school with in Sweden showed me computer virus. It was the Stoned. The whole concept of it blew me away. My second contact was with the Ontario virus. I wrote a new version of it. You already know that story.

I was hacking on the telephone way before I ever learned about viruses. I don't do that anymore, though. It's too scary.

Hellraiser: It had to be long before I actually knew anything about the computer underground. I was writing (hacking) viruses on my own at the time. Then one day I was on a BBS, Patti Hoffman's VSUM. Wow! A listing of all known viruses.

The thing that really got me was the name Rabid kept showing up. Being at the time I couldn't tell a good virus from a bad one, I thought these guys [were] awesome. That is what got me into the group thing. It wasn't until much later that I figured out that they were a bunch of lamers.

"How did it all start? Whose idea was it initially? What is the philosophy of the group? In this second article the two legendary virus authors, in their indepth interview with Sara Gordon, throw further light on their reasons for doing what they do - or did."

"One of the perennial questions asked of virus writers is why do they do it? The interview recorded below tries to get under the skin of two notable figures from the virus community.

A serious difficulty when it comes to understanding viruses, virus authors and the virus community is the inherent secrecy and paranoia of its population. However, the anti-virus community does communicate although invariable via e:mail on the Internet. Sara Gordon has conducted a series of on-line interview with two self-confessed virus authors, Lucifer Messiah and Hellraiser."

If you are part of a group now [which you are, I think :)], please tell me as completely as possible how you got involved with the group. Such as, met via modem, met in person, went to school with, etc..

Lucifer: At the start, there was no group. It was just a bunch of guys who liked to hang around. We usually were in some kind of trouble or another.

Did you ever see the movie Clockwork Orange? We wanted to be like droogies. We got into telephone hacking. The group actually formed around that. We all had computers. Remember this was in school, too. Really, i didn't my own computer at first with them. Me and another guy split costs because we lived near each other. Soon we had names.

All my friends always called me Lucifer Messiah. I am a religious type of person. People were always afraid of me because I always wear black, and have very long hair. This was not normal then, with leather and studs. They called me Lucifer first. When they found that I was not a Satanist, they called me Jesus. I had a sweater with a hood, so I used to act like it. Some people called it my satanic robe, and others my Jesus clothes. Now it is Lucifer Messiah.

Blodigt Kors got his name because that was his rock band name. It means bloody cross. He was (the) Satanist not me! There is another guy called Jackal. He helped out with forming a group. We were looking for chaos. Chaos was hacking, phreaking and viruses when they came.

Three years ago I moved to Canada because of my job. I work with networks. I kept the group going. I met SCEB, who is Supreme Commander Electro-Brainwave. He's a weird kind of guy who everybody thought was a copy. He looked like a lawyer, and enjoyed changing his accent to a new one every day.

He is a phreaking big time. The two of us put ANARKICK SYSTEMS together. We stayed close with the group in Sweden. There were about ten of us here, and 15 over there. the viruses that SCEB and I write in them until the Ontario thing happened. Now we put AS on everything. Last year the group in Sweden got busted really bad. ANARKICK SYSTEMS is now just a fragment, and we just get together now and again to talk about new technologies, and show off our new codes and ideas that we create. Most of what we do is not released, and that is probably good.

Hellraiser: Well, here is the whole story. When I was going to college I met up with a few people who were interested in computers. None of which knew anything about the underground, myself included. We would sit in the computer lab and do stupid things like hacking into the Novell network and read people's papers. We added a menu system to the school's network, which upon entering the right password would let you play games and look at nasty GIFs.

Anyway, we started getting in to games and stuff. One of the guys got a copy of a game off his friend at home. It seems that this game was infected with the Jerusalem-B virus. Now I didn't figure this out till one day about a month later(during spring break) I noticed my Turbo Debugger would not run.

I called Borland (cause I bought the thing, I was not and never will be a warez dOOd) and explained the error. They had no idea, so I asked if it could be a virus, and they said it was a possibility. Wow! A virus of my very own. So I hung up with Borland and got right on my local PD BBS and downloaded the latest McAfee virus-Scam. Sure enough, all over my hard drive was Jeru-B!

Most people would be P.O'd right about now but I was very happy. To cut this part short this is around the time I started learning how viruses worked. When I got back to school I told all my buddies that I created a virus. They were liked "Wow!" So we played around with the hacks that I made. None of the others knew jack about programming so I could tell them anything I wanted. The next thing you know we decided to start a group, well I decided that we start a group. I don't really think any of these people cared much - we weren't at the time real computer hacks but non-the-less we started a (unnamed) group.

That summer I really started calling BBS systems a lot. As it usually goes I started picking up numbers for 'underground' BBSs. I called a few local ones and all they had to offer were cheap warez and junk along those lines.

There was one good UNIX board however, that was running Citadel. Which if you don't know is a primarily messaged based system. They had one area called 'hack' where there were messages on hacking. So one day I popped the big question, "How do yu write a virus?" What I didn't realize at the time was 'hack' does not always mean 'hack' (as in criminal).

Needless to say I was scorned by the whole outfit on that system, but they kept me on. A couple of days later I got some mail on that BBS that said - "Youlike viruses? Call Landfill 914-HAK-VMBS". WOW! Could this be, a virus BBS? So I called it right after getting the mail and yes it was true, they did have viruses. The problem was I had to upload viruses to download viruses. Damn. That Whale viruses in VSUM looked sick, and this guy had it.

So what did I do? I uploaded my little Jeru hack and called it SKISM-1, hoping these people would not catch on to what it was. The next day I called the board and BAM! I had 8 file points, the problem was after downloading the 64k Whale file (all strains) I had no file points left. So what did I do? Hacked up another Jeru-B hack and uploaded it.

I must mention that while reading some of the messages on the board I kept seeing the name -=Phalcon=- at the end of some messages, at the time I had not idea what it meant. Then late one night I gave Landfill a call. To my surprise while scanning the new files the following text comes up on my screen, "Garbageheap flings a bogger at you". What?!? Oh, the sysop has pulled me into chat.

"Hey what's up?," he types. So we got to talking and he mentioned that he was in a group called Phalcon, and that (they) were hackers. I was able to make him think I knew about hacking by agreeing to everything he said about hacking (I am good at 'social engineering'). He asked me if I was in a group and I told him I was in a group called Skism. Skism was what my lame college group would have been called if anyone gave a damn, so I wasn't really lying was I?

Over the next week we chatted on-line more and more. He seemed to like me because I was the only one uploading 'zero day viruses'. Then one night we went voice, and that's where it all started. We came to the conclusion that our groups should be joined, Phalcon was hackers and Skism (me) as the virus end. So I agreed and the reset is history (I know, cliche).

Over time we started getting good at hacking and coding. Dark Angel came back from his summer job (I wish I could tell you what it was, it would blow your mind) and he started learning ASM. When I went to re-apply for school they told me I couldn't get a loan for semester. So I decided to move out to California for a while and just hang out. Out there I was free from my parents so I could hack a lot easier.

I didn't have a computer my first few months so I started to learn the phone system, big mistake. To get off the subject, we started hooking up with a lot of new people. And we recruited some new long distance members. One of which was an ex-Rabid member, Time Lord.

When I got a computer out there I started coding viruses again. Dark Angel had gotten really good, really fast. Me and him were in friendly competition for a while. 40Hex (which I forgot to include the origin of, if you want I will type up a paragraph on that subject) had taken off. All the hack/phreak boards wanted to become Phalcon/Skism sites. We officially became a group at this point.

Please describe the main philosophy of your group as you see it.

Lucifer: Don't ignore technology. We have it, and we must explore it.

Hellraiser: The philosophy of the group then was to be the best at what we did and to gain recognition. At least that's the way I saw it.

Do members of your group seem to share the same general philosophy?

Lucifer: Yes. We are all rather computer obsessive.

Hellraiser: I will say it again. I am still a member of the group in an honorary way, I am not active at this time, nor have I been for the past 11 months, nor will I ever be again.

Does your group meet in person, or only on the modems/BBS?

Lucifer: We meet in person, or we hack to speak for free. Last year the big game was to hack 1800 VMB's.

Hellraiser: At the beginning yes, we did. After the great crises (more on that later) I think we all grew up mentally enough to say, "We are our own people." However, that was when the group started to lose cohesion.

The core of the group lived in the same 10 mile radius. I lived around 30-40 miles away from them. They met almost every day, because they were friends before being a group. I met with them once every one or two months. We talked almost every day on Landfill, or other local BBSs. When the long distance members came into play we talked on BBSs and conference calls three to four times a week.

What is the average age of your group members?

Lucifer: 25 and up, except one, who is 21.

Hellraiser: Now, around 20. Back when the group first started it was like 17. I was one of the older members (over 21).

What activities do you find most to your lking that your group does: hacking, phreaking, partying :), etc.

Lucifer: Viruses and hacking.

Hellraiser: When I was in the group the thing I liked the most was coding viruses, because it was something not just anyone could do. It gave me a purpose in the group and made me one of the stronger assets. I was the only virus programmer at the origin of the group. Dark Angel was the second.

What activities do you find most wrong that your group does?

Lucifer: We let ourselves bow to the law. The law is restrictive and oppressive.

Hellraiser: I never liked hacking for profit, this was the groups' downfall. Well as I see it the group died after the bust, they are still active, I know. I think hacking for learning or exploration is fine. It is against the law in most cases.

I don't see anything wrong with 'harmless hacking' as long as no information is damaged or tampered with. I know your thinking, "How would you like it if someone rifled though your information?" And you are right on that account. Yet I would rather have someone hack into my computer to prove he could do it, than a person who hacks in the spy.

Does your group have any specific goals? If so, what?

Lucifer: No. We just have fun. We don't even do much as a group any more.

Hellraiser: Back then (when I say then, I mean the days when the group was in its glory) the goal was to be the best at what they did. I think now the goal is making money. Not all of us, but if I wanted to I could name two people who are in it for the money. Unfortunately these are the people who will be holding any legal binding to the group's name, so it will look like we all soldout when they start making money off the name. Others in the group are in it strictly for the sport. Dark Angel for one would never do anything virus related for profit.

"What are the beliefs of the authors? Is it moral to write viruses? What do hackers do? In this third installment of Sarah Gordon's in-depth interview with two legendary virus authors, she discusses with them the ethics of writing viruses, and they reflect on their philosophy of telephone phreaking and data destruction."

"One of the perennial questions asked of virus writers is why do they do it? The interview recorded explores what motivates such people.

A serious difficulty when it comes to understanding viruses, virus authors and the virus community is the inherent secrecy and paranoia of its population. Sara Gordon speaks with two self-confessed virus authors, Lucifer Messiah and Hellraiser."

Regarding ethics - did you have, at any point in time during your education, specific ethics based classes? If so, when?

Lucifer: Yes - a high school course called Man in Society. They don't call it that anymore. Sexist name!

Hellraiser: I went to Catholic school for 10 years if you can consider that ethics. The problems is after I saw what hypocrites the Catholics were it kind of turned off 'ethical' behavior for a while. I have lived the past 12 years or so in hell. Back then I could (not) care less about the other people because I hated myself. It is hard to be ethical to other people when you ahve no self respect.

Please give me your definition of 'ethical' behaviour.

Lucifer: Don't hurt what isn't yours. It is important to leave things as you saw them when you came in.

Hellraiser: Ethical behavior to me is caring about other people. If you care about others, your behavior tends to lean towards ethical.

Do you think if something is legal to do, it is also OK to do? For instance, it is illegal to kill a bird in the woods. Is it moral?

Lucifer: Why would the bird be killed. Was its wing broken? Head half crushed? There are circumstances where anybody would kill the bird.

Hellraiser: To a point yes. As long as people are not getting hurt or ripped off. Some of the laws out there are BS, plain and simple. If you feel in your mind that what you are doing is right, I encourage you to do it. It is the idea this country was built on. Sadly now-a-days laws are being passed to take away peoples rights.

Do you ever talk about ethics or if something is right or wrong with your friends? If so, why? If not, why not?

Lucifer: We talk in depth about anarchy and various anarchist organizations.

Hellraiser: The only person I have had an ethical converstaion with (computer wise) has to be Garbageheap. We both share (somewhat) the same viewpoint on ethics. The context of the conversation related to hacking. We figured if no one was getting ripped off or hurt, it was OK.

Have you ever been arrested :) for computer-related crime? If so, what?

Lucifer: No.

Hellraiser: Yes, I was arrested for theft of services. Put simply I was using a PBX system I should not have been using.

Do you feel you were treated fairly by law enforcement officials? Do you feel what you did was illegal and did you expect to be caught?

Lucifer: I had a phone book confiscated from me. It had confidential numbers in it. I flaunted it to the wrong person.

Hellraiser: I feel I was treated fairly by the D.A. Some of the arresting officers tried to play the "bad cop" to scare me. I knew it was all an act so it didn't bother me. I doubt most of the cops even knew what my crime consisted of. An ignorant cop is the worst kind of cop. My primary concern is how I will be treated by the law in the future. It seems that if you have a criminal record in this country you can never again be trusted. I would like to see how I will be treated next time I get pulled over for speeding, or get caught in the wrong neighborhood.

If you expected to be caught, why did you do the act?

Hellraiser: I really did not expect to be caught. The PBX was about the most illegal act I performed. I tried to keep a M.O. of not doing anything to cost anybody money. The PBX was a mistake. I only used it a little ($101.92) - I didn't think that was enough to get me caught. I was, of course, wrong.

If you did not expect to be caught, why did you think you did not expect to be caught?

Hellraiser: It seems that most hackers/phreakers never think they will get caught. No matter how many people they see around them go down, they think - It could never happen to me.

There is a trend lately to offer viruses via the Internet. How many places do you know of that do this? Do you think it is responsible? If so, why? If not, why not?

Lucifer: There used to be two. Skism's thing went down. PC Scavenger is still here, and will probably stay, because they aren't a virus exchange. They do have a real and legitimate service.

Hellraiser: I only know of a couple of places, due to the fact that I am only now getting into the Internet. It is in there (their) legal rights to do so, but I do not think it is responsible. The reason I think this way is I feel viruses should not be given to just anyone. People get hurt as a result of misuses of computer viruses. [Misuses, is there any good use for computer viruses?]

What is your impression of anonymous mailers? Do you think they contribute to illegal activities of harassment? Have you ever used one, and would you consider using one?

Lucifer: I would never use one. First, I don't use my real name on the Internet. This is because I wanted to be able to talk about computer viruses openly and have people know who I am in the underground. It isn't an entirely fake name, though. It is a pen name I use in a lot of places.

Hellraiser: Of course it contributes to illegal activities. On the other hand - is can be a useful asset. With great power comes great responsibility - you can bet any loophole will be exploited for evil. I have been using them a lot over the past week, not for anything bad, just your standard use. I think they make life a whole lot easier.

What is your impression of the Dark Avenger's impact on virus writing in the past five years.

Lucifer: False. Plastic. Just another thing to cry about. The MtE was perfect to jolt everybody upright, though.

Hellraiser: I have not heard much about him over the last year or so. He was all the rave when Bulgaria was the hot-spot for computer viruses. His smarts for viruses combined with his mysterious identity makes him the number one virus author in history. If you asked me two years ago what virus programmer I respected the most, I would say the Dark Avenger.

What virus writer has most influenced you at different stages of your virus writing life (can be more than one, more than one time in your life), and how has he or she influenced you?

Lucifer: None.

Hellriaser: Unknown origins. The only one that actually had any impact on me was Dark Angel. Dark Angel started out learning from me. We were in a friendly competition there for a while. In no time his skill surpassed me [and] he was teaching me. He is a great teacher, and willing to teach. He is the only person I allowed to influence me.

Do you think you will ever stop writing them?

Lucifer: Yes

Hellraiser: Yes, in fact I haven't coded a virus in over a year. I will never code a virus again.

Why would you stop writing viruses? What has happened to you, or to the virus writing scene in general, that makes you personally want to stop?

Lucifer: I've slowed down considerably. The scene is boring, and I can think up only so many ideas that are my own.

Hellraiser: Virus writing is a waste of creative energy. It limits the coder to one set area. On top of this I now realize it is wrong, and can cause people unwanted strife. The person I once was is quite dead, the only way I can move on is if he stays that way.

Conclusion

These young men are representative of the vast majority of virus writers and are, finally, ex-virus writers - they may be involved in shaping the future of computer. The turning away from virus writing is a virus positive trend, and one that will hopefully continue.

In my opinion communication is one of the most important methods of dealing with the virus and security threats that we are facing today's global computer environments. A willingness to discuss issues and ideas is the first step we all have to take if we wish to shape Cyberspace, and enable it to become all that it has the potential to become.

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