Do Anti-Virus Companies Write Viruses?

from the say-what?? dept

I will admit that I can be very harsh on anti-virus companies for overhyping any sort of virus alert that comes along. However, I have never heard the rumor that these companies actually write and release the viruses themselves – and then stand ready to come to the rescue with their anti-virus products. It turns out that many people believe that anti-virus companies write many viruses for just that reason – like the deranged fireman who sets buildings on fire just so he can be a hero. As the person says in the article, were any company to actually do that, the news would get out, and it would completely destroy the company.

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Comments on “Do Anti-Virus Companies Write Viruses?”

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Think of it this way:
If it is the anti virus companies that are writing the viruses, and the quality of the virus in incicitive of the quality of the software these anti virus companies produce, then their products would probably not be as adequate as they are. Unless of course, destroying your computer is what you WANT to do…

wonko (user link) says:

Couldn't be further from the truth

I worked for a well-known antivirus company for over a year, doing quality assurance and software development. I never saw any evidence whatsoever that implied that anyone within the company had ever intentionally released a virus into the wild. Obviously, for testing purposes, we had copies of live viruses, but we went to incredible pains to ensure that those things never got anywhere near a network connection, and if anyone had even so much as thought about putting a virus on a disk and removing that disk from the “clean room”, they would have been severely reprimanded.

There was an incident once where a network administrator forgot to update the DAT files on the email server and a virus made it into the internal email network from outside. Ironically, a lot of employees infected themselves and some of the people in their address books. Even so, the virus in that case originated outside the company. As you’d expect, the situation was taken very seriously and there were some pretty severe consequences for a lot of people.

bagelboy9 (user link) says:

Re: AVG scanner had a virus!!

I use AVG, it’s a great little free scanner. I’m sure you’ve all heard of it. But last time I downloaded from their site, there was virus bundled to their software! no joke, it was the sircam worm. It took some doing to fix the bug. I sent them a polite email, but they never replied. Is it possible they were hacked? maybe, i don’t think they would attack people who already downloaded their software. Most viruses are written by kids in school playing around, but I haven’t i swear haha


demartin says:

Re: Couldn't be further from the truth

Just because you didnt see it at your job doesnt mean it doesnt happen. If the anti virus companies were in the business of releasing viruses to the world it would be very secretly. The average employee would not know about it because one slip up and the company would be sued out of existence. It would be done like a black op, with total deniability by the company.
And yes, I do believe the AV companies are pumping these viruses out into the world because most of the newer viruses are annoyances that innundate networks, but do little harm to the pc. This is the perfect virus to motivate the corporate purchaser to continually pay large sums for the latest AV software.

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