There are plenty of folks out there who contend that the majority of spam e-mail originates from compromised PCs. These “zombie” machines are infected with viruses that turn them into little spam servers. Hence, they crank out thousands of messages per hour advertising penis enlargement pills, pushing mortgage scams and “phishing” for passwords.
Obviously, the folks who write these viruses are pretty smart. They’ve created code that exploits known insecurities and user stupidity to propagate undetected through countless computers. These smart little bugs then wreak all sorts of computational havoc, unchecked thanks to the thousands of users who are either too cheap to buy decent virus protection or too lazy to pirate it.
Meanwhile, the security community sits and wrings its hands, publishing virus definition updates, imploring the vast sheep herd of netschmucks to buy their products, and ultimately doing a great job protecting a tiny minority. Meanwhile, everyone still ends up with in-boxes full of spam, and those stupid enough to run Windows still end up with cowputers that are barely usable thanks to all the viruses sucking up processor cycles.
It might sound like I’m about to call for commie anti-virus software – “let’s give away a good anti-virus suite so that people will protect their computers!” Nope. That won’t work…because it still relies on the users to solve the problem. And the users – ARE – the problem.
What we need is for some smart programmers to write an anti-virus virus. Since people’s stupidity opens the door for viruses to flood their PCs, why not combat those viruses using the same people’s stupidity? Create a program that self-propagates – hopping from computer to computer, quarantining viruses and deleting malware. After the host PC is clean, and the “vaccine” gets a chance to replicate onto a few other machines, it deletes itself and leaves no trace behind.
Sure, there are all sorts of “moral high-ground” issues surrounding such a proposal, but remember: those of us who are properly protected against viruses needn’t worry about “catching the vaccine”, either! So let ‘er fly – and kiss DDoS attacks, distributed spam and an epidemic of computer uselessness goodbye!