Re: [fw-wiz] Ethics & hiring

From: Bennett Todd (
Date: 11/18/04

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    To: Gwendolynn ferch Elydyr <>
    Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 14:53:44 +0000

    2004-11-17T18:38:29 Gwendolynn ferch Elydyr:
    > [...] antivirus company [...] called a halt to its partnership
    > with SecurePoint because of that firm's decision to hire the young
    > man who allegedly created Sasser.

    Without taking up an opinion on the broader questions here, I think
    this particular news item might be a weak one from which to draw
    broad conclusions.

    Anti-virus companies are in a very, very awkward position. Their
    business is profitable solely because of the widespread problems
    with viruses; if it weren't for all the malware authors, they'd be
    out of business. They make their money on viruses. Furthermore, one
    important factor in gaining market share is the most prompt possible
    signature updates; customers like to receive the sigs for a new
    virus before they get hit by the virus.

    This is a precarious position to be in; a quick glance suggests the
    way to be a really great A/V vendor is to write viruses, update your
    sigs, then distribute the viruses.

    Conflict-of-interest issues arise when talking about anti-virus
    companies -vs- virus authors that are completely separate from any
    moral qualms people may have about hiring such malware perps.



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