Honour among thieves?

Apparently even criminal hackers want to protect their intellectual property. Ok, it might take us a decade or so to receive news down south here, but the story out of Symantec still raised eyebrows.

“Professional virus writers are now selling a suite of software on the internet with an unusual attachment: a detailed licensing agreement that promises penalties for redistributing the malicious code without permission.” SMH

The Russian software contains the following user rules:

:: The customer can’t resell the product, examine its underlying coding, use it to control other bot nets or submit it to antivirus companies and agrees to pay the seller a fee for product updates.

:: The threat: Violate the terms, and we’ll report you ourselves to the antivirus companies by giving them information about how to dismantle your bot network or prevent it from growing bigger.

The software is used to create networks of zombie machines – known as “botnets”. They are the little doolies that use your machine without you knowing and make $jillions for their employer.

Buggered if I know; I thought Bush GW and Clinton H had already proved the approach was problematic, but I guess there are still some gaps out there.

3 thoughts on “Honour among thieves?”

  1. If there’s a way to make money from it, someone will figure it out, eh?

    Ironically, that agreement (the first term at least) is surprising similar to the boilerplate EULA (End-user License Agreement) that accompanies just about every piece of legitimate software you purchase.

  2. I just find the whole concept nonsensical, even the threat of explaining to anti virus cos how to dismantle the malware.

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