Virus-Writing Course Stirs Controversy

from the teaching-the-wrong-thing? dept

Last week I saw the news that the University of Calgary was looking to start a course in virus writing, in order to see if students could help come up with innovative ways to protect against viruses. To be honest, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but today, anti-virus groups went ballistic condemning the idea, saying that it was completely unnecessary. They say there’s absolutely no reason to write a virus if you’re trying to protect against them… Of course, considering the level of virus writing that goes on, I’d say that current anti-virus companies haven’t done the greatest job themselves. As someone points out in the article, it’s not likely that someone is going to go take this course on purpose to become a malicious virus writer. There are plenty of tools already out there for that. However, this is likely to attract people who are interested in the inner workings of a computer virus, and will give them a chance to “know their enemy” in much greater detail.

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