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Interview with Potti Rotti

The Unforgiven

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Character presentation:

Pottie Rottie is 21 years old. He's studying computer-science at a university that he wouldn't like to be mentioned. He's the writer of about 10 viruses of varying quality. We decided to met at a university-phest (party), it was a blast. The next morning, both having a huge hang-over we sat down in front his computer and I showed him the basics of viruswriting. If he had enough time, my best guess is that he could've been an alright viruswriter since his mind is insane creative and somehow sick. Two good abilities when it comes to writing perverted programs :-).

				- The Unforgiven.

Give me a short description of who you are?

I am Pottie Rottie :). I'm 21 years old and I'm currently taking some classes on a university not doing too well since I have no real motivation (or time over, perhaps?) to study. I like to drink tea, eat toasts and suck on girl's titties (preferable on the same time, and on my gf's titties :)).

From where did you get you handle, Pottie Rottie?

I really hate thinking up handles since already nearly all good handles are in use, it's not a trivial task to pick one anymore. I inserted the tag Pottie Rottie into a virus for no specific reason and that's pretty much about it.

Does your handle has some specific meaning?

Read above :). No, it has definitly no meaning. It's actually so bad so I don't expect anyone else to take it :). I really hate double-handles. This Dark-this-and-Dark-that is getting a bit annoying if you ask me..

When did you discover the world of computers?

My father bought a C64 (great computer) early in the 80's and when he bought his first PC (8088), I ripped the C64 from him and that's how it all started.

How long have you been active in the scene?

I am not really active in the scene :). I think I called the first BBS in the middle of 1992 or so.

How did you came into the virus business?

I read a few virus oriented virus-magazine's and it seemed to be a cool thing to do.

Why did you start to write viruses?

To see if I could make it. To invent a new kinda weapon for blackmailing? Hehe, probably because the media gave it so much attention I couldn't resist the challenge. When I eventually recieved some source codes from you it proved not to be as hard I thought it would be. The media really exaggarated the difficulty. This mean that you don't have to be a genious for writing a self-replicating program ;). I'm not saying that I'm stupid or something, I just ain't no technical-minded-genious.

Which goals do you have as a viruswriter?

Do improve my low-level programming as long as I live? Well, I don't have any specific goals really, I mainly write viruses because I find it a fun thing to do.

Which programming-languages are you familiar with, and what's your favourite language?

I am familiar with Pascal and assembler. My favourite language is of course assembler because you really understand what's happening inside the computer when you're coding in it. The same knowledge can never be gained by programming in a high-level language.

How many viruses has you written?

I think I've written about 10 viruses or so, not all of them are though released yet.

How do you name your viruses?

The first name which comes to my mind perhaps? Or something that sounds cool or in one or another way draw some attention. I think I will name my next virus from someone who really has influented me in real life. But on the other side, viruses named after girls are getting a bit old :). (Haha! This was personally ment as an attack against you TU!) [* Fuck off asshole! - TU *]

Which one was the hardest to write?

A virus I havn't written yet. I have a very nice idea how a virus could be very hard to detect and what I figured impossible to remove. I just don't have enough time or knowledge to write it.

How do you think a virus should be styled?

Well, new virus techniques is always a neat thing to do, if you can't think of or implement any new virus-technique, try to make something unique and creative, but simple. The two viruses you asked me for does both include somehow original ideas.

You seem to critizise the religion a lot in your viruses any specific reason for this?

Yeah. I always have a reason when I do something. Religion is really stupid. First of all god doesn't exist and how can you believe in something that doesn't exist? Then, religion is the main reason to all wars (which I believe you mentioned in IR#6) and wars are very stupid. If I believe in something it's satan. That's a lot more logical to do. The society is evil, and aren't god good? It's a paradox and it's because of this I think very many viruswriters are influent by satan (We're quite a logical bunch and believing in god is very unlogical so we don't). Look at Glenn Benton and Azrael's viruses, it's (what I think) real deep thoughts behind them.

What motivates you to write viruses?

As I said - it's basicly all about learning.

Did some of them carried a destructive payload?

Yes. I don't remember which but I am sure some of them did.

Do you think you will continue to write viruses?

If DOS continues to live on I will otherwise I probably won't. For the moment I haven't got enough knowledge to write viruses for other operating systems than DOS. If I get I will consider it. But I don't think DOS will die before my interest does...

Would you feel guilty if one of your viruses made damage to a hospital?

Well if I personally had infect the hospital and some person got hurt because of it I would but if it was a result of arrogance from their side I wouldn't.

Would you deliberate infect a school or government institution if you know they would replicate well if you did so?

Yeah. Everything which can make a headline is worth doing and besides infecting a school or governmental institution can't harm anyone. Not fysically anyhow.

Do you find it easier to infect pirated software, than PD/SW software?

No, I don't think so. There is no such thing as an innocent user. This also mean that I don't discriminate :). But if you really want a virus to spread, infect a pirated software, SW won't leave the country.

Do you encourage deliberate destructive code in viruses?

I don't encourage someone else to code destructive viruses but I do it myself. It's all up to the writer how he'll design his viruses. Including destructive code in a virus is is kinda dumb since it will waste more bytes and on the same time reduce the chanse for the virus to spread. Kinda contradictory consider a virus goal is to replicate without being detected. An undestructive virus has a greater chanse to survive, but on the other hand it sometimes feels like the right thing to code them destructive. I have a splitted opinions about the issue concerning destructive code inside viruses.

What to you think of the issue concerning 'undestructive-viruses'?

I think it is real hard to write a undestructive virus due to all compatibility problems. Even if you make a 100% compatible virus today it might not be compatible tommorow. New executable's, new inviroments, new versions of the specific OS (a lot of virus code is undocumented), won't make it easier ya'know.

Do you think one can make a virus benefictial?

I have no idea really how to make one but in theory of course you can make one benefictial.

Have you ever considered writing a GOOD virus?

No, I havn't. It's too hard, and noone would use it anyway since the media really has scared most users for viruses..

Gonthev described in his 'write-up' "Is good Computer-Viruses still a bad idea", do you think one of those viruses can be classified good?

I haven't tried any of the viruses described, but I doubt they are good for everyone. It's hard (if not impossible) to control the spread of computer viruses. Some who don't want the virus might get it.

Do you have any more argument why viruses can't be benefictial than lack of control, recognition difficulty, resource wastening, bug containment, compatibility problems, effectiveness, unauthorized data-modifications, copyright violations, possible misuse, responsibility, and trust problems?

Hmm.. So hard to code that noone's tries?

If you think its possible to write a good virus, how to solve the above problems?

You can't solve all problems above. It's an impossible task. Some person might think they've solved all problems but that's just in his opinion and not everyone's opinions. Opinions can really vary.

About virus-code-generators, what is your opinion about them, and about people using them thinking they are hot-shot-elite?

I laugh at them. Those dorks can't code for shits.

Do you write viruses to get recognition in the virus/AV community?

No I don't :). I mainly do it for the pure pleasure of it. But a few articles in some big magazine would though be nice. It would be a neat thing to hack a big newspaper and write your own articles and then send them away and make sure they get published. But since my ego is great already I don't need that kind of self-congratulation :-). But on the other hand it would be a great hack, wouldn't it?

What do you think about the media/AV describing viruswriters as lonely individuals with no life?

I laugh at them because they barely have talked with any viruswriter, and can of course not tell how we're in a private matter. But people in today's society is often lonely so to some extend, they're correct. This is probably the fault of people's belief in materialism and addiction to fysical things. Did that sound cryptic? Well, consider living 100 years ago, back then you're dependent on other people doing things for you but nowadays you manage living on your own.... This of course has a price too, and among many things, loneliness is one.

Do you think the scene is associal or not?

The scene can be both social and associal. The scene is what you makes it to.

How are you in real life?

I can't really describe myself since I am totally scitzo! :). Hmm, well guess I'm just a orinary guy with an interest in computers and the technical side of computing. I'm very involved in the student life. I have my own 'talk-show' on the student radio and I am also the editor of our student-magazine. Furthermore I organize student- parties and I'm also working as a disc-jockey sometimes. I like messing and screwing things around into a total chaos, but I do however somehow manage to spend some quality time togheter with my girlfriend and seeing 'normal' (IRL) friends. Occasionally I also study :-).

How do you make your living?

I am studying and get money from our dear government. Sometime I work as well but as long as I can afford to live I don't. This also mean that I don't have any money on any bank and so forth :). When I get money - I spend 'em.

Have the scene/viruswriting influent you in real life?

I don't think it has influent me very much, if it has I am happily unaware of it :).

What do your parents/close friends thinks about your viruswriting?

My parents don't know about it and if you knew me in a more private matter than you do you wouldn't have asked this question since then you would also know that I broke contact with them about 2 years ago. They wouldn't respect my new girlfriend being from another country, not speaking perfect swedish and if she wasn't good enough for them, well I just said fuck-off and didn't call home anymore. Eventually, they tried to accept her, but still they're very rude to her peaking on her's choice of words, correcting her grammer and we kinda splitted with them again. When they apologize, I might consider forgiving them, but honestly I don't know if I ever do since I have a hard time respecting racists.

Some of my close friends knows about my interest in viruses since I'm always the guy to help them out when they get a virus. They don't understand why I'm writing them, but they won't really care either.

Are you into viruswriting only or other parts of the computer-underground?

Hacking? Well, its just a matter of definition I think. I do some hacking but nothing serious. I haven't considered phreaking because I seldom call out anyhow. I am not involved in any carding activity because it's very easy to get caught and the laws are also very specific and hard on phraud of that kind.

What in the scene do you find okay to do, and what don't you do bcos you find it morally wrong?

I don't think much is wrong. It all depends on the situation you're in and not what you're doing. Killing can sometime be okay. I know this sounds weird to some, but are really persons like Saddam Hussain worth living?

What parts of the underground do you think needs improvements?

The attitude part. It seems like people like flaming too much. I hate it.

Positive/negative aspects of the scene?

Negative: The attitude some people has.

Positive: The great flow of knowledge and information in general.

What's your opinion about the swedish scene?

The virus-scene has grown bigtime since TWL/HNS started. Before the opening of this board the swedish virusscene was non-existence. Nowadays a lot of viruses are being produced in Sweden. Look at TaiPan, Junkie, Desperado and Scitzo - they were all reported everywhere. More and more viruswriter's are popping up and more and more viruses are released from here. It's a great development.

Whats your opinion about polymorphic engines?

They're cool programs. Really hard to make them totally polymorphic and on the same time make them stable enough. I hate buggy code.

Why do you think people won't use them? (other than the inventors?)

People want to write their own code rather than borrow other people's. Writing an engine takes much time and knowledge. Most people don't have either of them. Not even the inventors use their own engines very much it seems. Once they've written the engine the challenge is taken and they see no point in including it in a lot of viruses. It might also have something to do with the AVers.. Once the engine is made public (released in a virus, for example), its only a matter of (short) time before it`s scannable.

What do you think about the new computer-laws propositions concerning viruses and such things?

It sucks. Do I really need to comment this? Viruswriting should never be considered as a crime, maybe spreading should? I don't agree you on this 'fuck-laws' things because I have no belief in people's moral and think anarchy isn't the way to go. I am though very liberate to most 'youth-things' (drugs, sex, alcohol, smoke, cloth), and well this also mean that I do respect other people and consider myself open-minded. Maybe because of my keen interest in other people, attitude's, belief's and all that which makes people different? To name a few examples as 'proof', my girlfriend is from Bosnia (meaning: I am unprejudicted) and one of my friends is a drug-addict and homosexual. I dress like a 14-year old attitude-kid, but that's not my problem.

Do you think it's unethical to program viruses?

Personally I don't think so, but I know a lot who does. Its pretty much the same question about producing weapons. Whos responsiblity is it that people get harmed with a gun? The one who designed/manu- factured it or the one who used it? Of course it's the one who used it. Go and ask this question to a judge and you'll get my point...

Whats your opinion about the EU?

I have no opinion about the EU. It's way too early to understand the effects of our membership in it as for now. Haven't noticed any changes at all really.

Whats your opinion about the swedish government?

I have no opinion really since I have no interest in politics at all. I guess they're ordinary humans.

Do you have any spreaders to get around your viruses?

No. When I finish a virus, I might release it into the wild myself, the less people involved - the less risc to get busted.

Which virus programmer do you admire/like?

There are a few I really look up to but admire? Hmm.. I don't know really.

Describe the perfect virus:

No idea :). Hmm.. A virus which is 100% compatible between all operating systems and never gets detected?

Describe the perfect viruscoder:

A person who dedicates 24 hours/day for writing viruses or the person who write's the perfect virus described above :).

Describe the AV-community:

Mainly they're a bunch of geeks but some are different. I would really like to see viruses written by respected anti-virus programmers, like Frans Veldman. Those viruses would kick major butt.

Which AV-program do you think is the best?

I like Tbscan a lot, but it has yet to solve all false-positives. F-Prot is alright too since it gives nearly no false-positives and they're updating their product very often. AVP has a nice demo- section which just might inspire viruswriters to make fancy payloads. Else I don't know really but if you're paranoid about viruses, just install an integrity-checker which is more reliable than any scanning software. The utils from TBAV is good but I shouldn't be using them anyways because viruswriters seem to love attacking Frans and his utilities :-).

Do you think an AV-program can guarantee 100% detection rate for all known & unknown viruses?

No. There is always a way to code around a specific anti-virus program. Even if the virus grow in size/complexity there will always be a way to do it.

Do you know/heard of any new technics coming in the near future?

Not really. But viruses written in protected mode could be quite a cool thing to do, I think this will be done shortly. If we look at the future in a wider perspective I think self-learning viruses is the next logical step. This is fully doable with today's knowledge about A.I. Else, I think viruswriter will aim for other and newer operating-system with the same techniques as we see today (stealth/polymorphism, etc. etc. ).

Bontchev wrote an article "Future trends in viruswriting", how viruses in the nearest future could look like, how to you think that will influent today's viruswriters?

I think all Bontchev's articles makes a good read. Some of his ideas is really hard to code but we might see one of his ideas in a virus, sometime..

What to you think about the future for DOS viruses?

I don't know really. Trends changes on daily basis in the computer industry... I can`t really tell.

Do you think viruses will be written for other (newer) operation- systems like OS/2 and Win95?

Yes. Sometime someone will start to code for them and when he (or she ;)) share his information more will begin..

Do you think its possible to write a virus for Win95?

Of course it's possible. Everything is possible. It just takes a lot more effort.

Do you think viruses then still will be programmed in low-level assembly kinda language or high-level languages like C or Pascal?

I think assembly is the natural choice to write viruses in, and I doubt people will start to use C/C++ for win95/NT, OS/2-Warp, etc. However, I would really like to see how viruses for UNIX could be written. The problem when writing a virus for UNIX is automatically to get full access so you can modify the files. Maybe UNIX viruses will be written in C because C is the natural choice when coding for UNIX.

Any advice to people who want's to learn the basic of virus-writing?

Read some theory of how it can be done and then start to write one with your own ideas from scratch without looking on other people's code. After you've done your first virus it can be wise to look at other people's solutions, and learn from them.

Do you think the virus-problem will decrease due to laws?

I don't think so. Maybe a little? If the subject get a lot of attention (again), it will only start '92 all over. Then the problem will increase instead of slow down :).

Can you be reached somewhere?

Well, since I'm not a very scene-involved kinda guy, it's better they contact you first and if you find them trustworthy and so on, just give them my phone-number

Your mottoe is:

"Do whatever get's you trough the day" Or: "Flee from the reality instead of face it" is the mottoe of a friend but I won't ripp him off since I don't agree him. I don't think I have a specific mottoe but just fucking do what feels good and don't ever fear the consequence. Maybe I will ripp of Nike's advertising saying "Just do it!" because that's how things happends. For example, I have a cute little ending-story here :-). My girlfriend was going to be 20 years old (at that time I didn't know her) and I hadn't bought her a present since I didn't know her. And when she opened the door I said "Well, I have no present for you, but since I want to give the greatest present to you, you can have me" since she looked incredible good and a friend told me she was nice as well, I "Just did it", and after the night we was a couple and have been happily together ever since (2+ years ago).

Something else you wish to say but never before had to oppurtunity to say?

No, I always tend to say what I want to say and if I don't I won't tell it here :). Hmm.. but to please you, okay! "Tea toast and (titanic) titties forever and ever...", and well I have not yet figured out the reason why this interview was made but if some of your readers does (or even enjoyed it (please, spare me the psychological analyze!)), feel free to contact me.. !, and yeah, sorry about all english mistakes, if some of your reader have any trouble with it send complaints to The Unforgiven :-), hahaha! Will you print that? [* Yes I will, happy now? - TU *]

Do you wish to send any greets/hate messages?

Sure, Greets flies out to pseudo-randomly to... Sabina, Robert, Anders, Mikael, Isak, Marcus, Oskar, Andreas, Per, Magnus, Sandra, Immortal Riot, VLAD, Phalcon/Skism, ex-TridenT, NuKE FOTD, Frisk, Hermanni, Frans.V, Eugene.K, MiL, and virus writers everywhere! (Specially to the swedish one's!)

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