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Are Anti-Virus Companies Criminals?

SnakeByte
Coderz [1]
September 2000

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Hi, maybe you start wondering about this headline, but I will tell you some facts which brought me to this question ;)

The first thing is, that in several countries there is a law against the ownership of viral sourcecodes and binaries. But this also includes, that it is forbidden to share these things. What do AV'ers do ? They share their files so they all are able to include common viruses into the databases. In addition to this, they have a lot of viral binaries and disassemblys in their labs, to analyze viruses.

The next fact is not related to a country-specific law, but to international copyright. Most of the software for MS-DOS and Windows ( which are the favourite platforms for viruses ), is commercial. What does this mean ? You got to pay for the software you use. If you copy it completely or parts of it, whithout paying for the code, you break international copyright laws. Heh, what does Kasperski and the others ask me for ? I shall send them files which I suspect to be infected ? I can't believe this, they ask me to commit a crime ! I don't know how other countries handle this, but here in germany if you make another person commit a crime it is nearly as worse as committing the crime on your own.

Last time I installed something commercial on my PC, I was so bored, that I read the disclaimer ( you know the window with lots of text you normally just see for a short time, cause you directly press >next< ). I was wondering when I saw the little paragraph about reverse engineering. If you own this program, you agree to the terms, that you will never ever reverse this program. ( If you don't own the program you break the copyright I talked few lines above about *g* ). Heh, how do the Anti-Virus researchers analyze viruses ? They reverse the virus, to get knownlegde about how the virus works. Whoah, to do this, they also need to disasm the infected program. Another law they break. I really don't think that they just start the file to infect some goats, if they would, they get in danger that new hardware attacks destroy their systems ;)

Another thing is that several Anti-Virus Companies start to work on Scanners, which work on mail-servers to stop outgoing viruses. The mail will not be delivered. Due to the fact, that a most virus scanners can scan compressed files and so on, there is no easy way for a normal user to send a virus to his favourite AV Company, if the webserver he uses has one of these scanners running and the scanner has the virus inside its database. Ok, why is this so criminal? They exclude smaller AV-Companies by this from the market. I for myself write a simple, free Anti-Trojan Tool. How should I receive submissions from peoples which want tu support my work ? It is impossible and therefore I can not longer work on my product. By this, they use their nearly-monopol like place to get rid of concurrents. This is illegal, as you see on the current proceedings against Microsoft.

What if we consider viruses to be an art ? In a way the author created something unique, which may be assumed to be an artwork like a book or a painting ( If you look at abstract artwork, nearly everything may be considered to be art *g* ) What about the destruction of art? Nearly everywhere this is illegal or at least against the ethics (Just think about the burning of books by the germans during the WW2 ) So this might be another crime they commit.

What if we would place a copyright in our software ? Something like:

"You can freely distribute this program, as long as you do not change anything. Disassembling and the forwarding to the Anti-Virus Community is forbidden. This program is protected by international law. It is just meant for analyzing artificial intelligence on controlled environments. It is also strictly forbidden to place this program on a non controlled environment and place it into the wild.. bla bla"

Just use their laws, to forbid them analysing our creations. If you see the virus in a AV-Database you know they have broken this law and you can take them to the court... ;)

Ok Mr. Kaspersky go and get some good lawyers ;)

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