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Why do People Make Viruses?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 by | Filed Under: Security Help
 
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Q: Why do people make viruses?

A: This is a very good question! I know it seems like the maker of a virus gets absolutely nothing out of the deal, but there are some real reasons that hackers make viruses.

Here are a few to think about:

1. Personal problems - I start with this one because I think it’s funny. Some people make viruses because it makes them feel better or more powerful. They get nothing but the ability to know that they made something that did so much damage. This is why it is not good when viruses make headlines in the news because the more media attention they get, the more reason there is for someone else to make one. If they can know that their virus was bad enough to be in the news, it’s more reason to try and make an even worse virus later.

2. Money – Obviously money had to be a reason to make a virus, but how does a virus make money? There are a lot of ways, most of which have to do with the theft of data. When you get a virus, it will most likely steal data from your computer and send it back to a different location. If the virus can somehow get a hold of your personal info or credit card info, it can be used to make fraudulent purchases. This is one way that a virus can make money. Another way is through ransom. There are many “ransomware” viruses out there. They will lock your computer down and not allow you access until you pay the ransom.

3. Gangs – Really! There are such things as cyber gangs. They are groups of people that work together to make viruses and other badware. They generally aren’t trying to get anything out of the viruses they make, they just do it for fun. Just like any other real life vandals.

4. Political issues – Hackers can make viruses that specifically attack certain groups or websites. For example, Lets say that I wanted to make a virus that would attack Worldstart. I could make a virus that would infect a bunch of computers anywhere in the world, and then I could give the virus directions to attack the Worldstart site on a certain day. This type of virus usually does nothing to the infected computer, it simply waits for the day that it is instructed to attack the target. This could easily bring any website down.

So, now you have a little look into the mind of a hacker. I hope this helps to explain some of the seemingly pointless destruction that we find on the web.

Stay safe out there.

~Gary

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