Learning From Virus Writers Instead Of Killing Them

from the a-slightly-smarter-strategy dept

While yesterday we wrote about the economic argument for killing virus writers, today, we’ve got a piece by Michael Schrage discussing the economics of learning from virus writers. He discusses the difference between “compete with” and “compete against” competition – the first being where the two sides compete in the marketplace to try to offer better and better products (leading to increased value for the consumer) and the second being where (at least) one side tries to compete by killing off the other side (that is, negative value creation). Thus, instead of just trying to kill off virus writers (perhaps both literally and figuratively), we should learn how to compete with them – not against them. That is, even if it’s for bad reasons, they are being very innovative in how they go about creating their malware. The trick is to turn that around and use it to build better products that can keep out the malware, rather than focus in on stomping out those behind the attacks.

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Comments on “Learning From Virus Writers Instead Of Killing Them”

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bbay says:


I’m GLAD that viruses exist. If viruses weren’t a clear and everyday nuisance, then no one would have any security at all.

If all the virus writers were arrested tomorrow and the constant steady pressure of the script kiddies went away, then everyone would stop caring about security. And then, someone would come along who was REALLY evil and bring everything to it’s knees.

I hate getting p0wn3d as as much as the next guy, but I don’t see another good way to make the average user care about security, much less the average CFO.

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