Helsinki, Finland - Open source developers plan to challenge Microsoft's
dominance in the world of viruses by developing their own through
the Open Virus Project (OVP), and unlike proprietary Microsoft viruses,
the open source versions will infect across all platforms.
the development of the OVP is Jukka Koskelin. He explained, "We
took a look at the virus marketspace and realized that Microsoft
has over a 95% share of all viruses developed. I don't think the
Linux community can be taken seriously if we don't increase our share
in that area."
"The viruses we're developing will work cross-platform unlike
Microsoft viruses which only work on Windows systems. There are ports
to Linux, *BSD, Solaris, and yes, even Windows. We should have a
Mac port in a couple of months," Koskelin continued.
The OVP currently has two viruses in beta: "oopsie" and "GPLdaemon." Oopsie
installs a spyware checking program, and notifies OVP, so they can
inform the user that they're being spied on. GPLdaemon uses spare
CPU cycles to check every file on an infected users hard drive bit-by-bit
to see if it contains any software that violates the GPL.
The viruses will arrive as .tar.gz attachments and will use automake.
Both oopsie and GPLdaemon will need to be compiled and executed by
the user for them to be infected. The viruses can use any e-mail
program to propagate, and do not require Outlook or Outlook Express.
"We had a lot of arguments on the OVP mailing list about whether
to send it out as source code or as an executable, but eventually
we decided that source would spread much more rapidly as it would
be optimized for each system," said Koskelin. "I know a
few programmers outside the project have already created .rpm and
.deb packages, however."
Devon Chee works on viruses in his spare time for the OVP. "I
used to do exclusively Windows viruses, but it really wasn't all
that challenging," he admitted. "With the cross platform
viruses I'm working on, I'm really giving the users a lot of options.
They can set the amount of e-mails that it sends out, whether to
infect other computers in the same domain and all sorts of other
Jared Dietrich has been testing the viruses and told us: "The
viruses work great. They sent out a ton of e-mails from my system.
I had to walk my mom through the compilation process, but I finally
got her infected too. The only problem I've seen is that the Windows
port doesn't really work well under WINE."
The Justice Department has started investigations into the virus
monopoly by Microsoft.
Special thanks to Nikolaj Borg
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