ARCHIVE: 'Phage List' - Archives (1988 - 1989)
DOCUMENT: phage #186 [Re: Disassembled virus?] (1 message, 792 bytes)
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From: srz@melange.LCS.MIT.EDU (Stan Zanarotti)
Date: Wed 02:01:43 09/11/1988 EST
Subject: Re: Disassembled virus?
References: [Thread Prev: 194] [Thread Next: 189] [Message Prev: 190] [Message Next: 187]
I think people are making the mistake of talking about this in terms of information theory (who has what information), as opposed to the real issue, which is work. Whether a typical grad student can turn the algorithms into code is mute. The fact is, it took RTM many weeks to do this transformation, and (apparently) some debugging. Not releasing the virus will prevent casual use by somebody who knows enough to modify code, but not enough to disassemble or write it from scratch. Plus, the few weeks of work will discourage all but the most determined and skilled attacker. And we already know that we can't defend against such a person. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. RTM (or whoever wrote the virus) knew enough to find the bugs and exploit them, but didn't know enough to understand the possible consequences. -stan P.S. Anybody who feels strongly enough for public posting of the virus can always disassemble it themselves. It's a lot easier to flame at the people who already have, but it's not going to help.
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