Murphy's Law: Sometimes, an Open-Source Virus is Just a Virus

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nightkiller

I agree with other posters that this article is just a semantic shell game of no real substance. Malware is code that installs itself without your permission. Licensing is installing code with someone else's permission because you agree to their constraints. As far as I'm concerned, malware has always been license free because no one claims ownership of the result and lives to tell the tale. Unless you are open about it.

 

You choose a flightless bird as a mascot and wonder why it doesn't take off?

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TheMurph

So, essentially, by saying the same things in your post that I'm saying in the column -- malware is license-free (and, thus, not open source) -- that somehow makes your post relevant and my article lack substance.

Huh?

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nightkiller

Why bother stating the obvious to begin with?

You choose a flightless bird as a mascot and wonder why it doesn't take off?

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TheMurph

Because it isn't quite so obvious if other people are obviously reporting it incorrectly.

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TheMaverick

Finally! These were the comments I was talking about on that other thread!

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Deanjo

There seems to be a misunderstanding as to what opensource is.  Opensource is not GPL.  GPL is a form license for opensource.  A virus can most definiately be released as opensource (actually there have been a lot of them floating around already for decades.  Just visit any security site like 2600.).  Public domain source code for example is "opensource" as well.  It could also be licensed under something like a BSD license which is offers far more freedom then the politcally motivated GPL.

 

Opensource takes many forms and no one license is the definition of opensource.

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TheMurph

Also:

"'Public domain' will never be a license. It actually means 'No license required,'" Rosen said (Rosen is an attorney with Rosenlaw and Einschlag who previously led OSI's legal work and who still is involved.) "Software that is 'dedicated to the public' or 'to the public domain' is pretty safe. I just worry a bit when people or companies give software away in such an amateurish way, without understanding that licenses or covenants are far more efficient and effective."

--http://news.cnet.com/8301-13580_3-9881858-39.html

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TheMurph

Wrong.  Open-source is not GPL, that's correct -- that was just an example.  However, open-source is, in part, definied by whatever licenses are attached to the software at-hand.  Otherwise, the original creator of the work retains copyright and the modification of said work sans permission is in violation.

Anyway, here's the tried-and-true definition of open source that one can refer to in these matters.

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1337Goose

Wow, that actually makes sense.

So Open-source is any software that has it's source code openly available? 

~Goose

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1337Goose

I think it is really just a semantics debate. A purist definitely would not consider these viruses as open source, but to the average layman, if the code is available for download, then it must be open source. (I was the average layman before Murphy's Law) 

I think you hinted at that:

"Reserving the correct phrase for its correct usage minimizes confusion and, more importantly, helps hold off the eventual transformation of "open source" into the next big synonym for "community-driven.""

~Goose

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linkmaster6

...and tooth paste was created by the goverment to brainwash millions.

I think this guy wears a tin foil hat

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Wildebeast

It's a shame that McAfee, Symantec, and the others can't just copyright the viruses, and use the DMCA to punish people who actively use viruses for malicious purposes.

Of course ---if they did try it, all it would take is one guy defending himself by showing they had the code, before the copyright holder had recognized that particular virus.

I'm not sure anyone would actually use that Defense though, as the Feds would then be going after them as the Originator of the Virus.

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AntiHero

Been a long time since someone covered viruses in a manner that didn't make me turn on Vista's UAC and create a backup. Someone could get the name registered as a copyright, however if someone were to use the same name, how could they pull a lawsuit without letting slip that it's a virus. Also once the virus gets out there, the name would be registered with someone, and therein getting them caught. So calling it an Open Source project is not really true since it cannot get a name, even though it can be a collaborative project, and a project that people can take, manipulate and recreate as they wish.

I don't like Microsoft, I associate with it.

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WarCrime342

Your point was very clear and well written. It's been quite a bit of time since I've seen a comment of this quality. Nowadays, anyone with an internet connection can post a comment. It's not very exclusive anymore and those with expertise now have to stand out of a crowd to make a valid statement.

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periodhyphenund...

Thank you

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periodhyphenund...

Quote: 

"It also gives us a chance to ponder what a closed-source virus program would look like."

 

It looks EXACTLY like Windows 7!   Duh

 

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gendoikari1

Please go back to MacLife.

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mattman059

OH theres no arguing with this dip shit..just go read some of his other comments....guys a ass hole.

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periodhyphenund...

People like me who have evidence to back up our statements get nothing but grief for our trouble.

We spend thousands of hours without pay to help slobs like you protect your own computer and all we get from you is name calling and cyber bullying from people who cannot get even one single piece of evidence to counter my claims!

Fine, let the Government spy on you!  

Your stupidity only hurts you!

 

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nekollx

 IF you have evidence you shoulnd't be fraid to provide it...

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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lunchbox73

Is this the guy who's always spouting off about how Windows 7 is spyware? What's his deal? What's your deal dude?

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periodhyphenund...

The deal is Windows 7 is spyware AND WE HAVE THE PROOF in case Max PC would like to do an honest article on the subject!

Once again WE HAVE THE PROOF to back up our claims!

You only have cyber bullying and name calling to back up your claims 

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mattman059

LOL  - *See above post regarding MacLife*

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nekollx

 *walms up my pimp slappin hand* Please keep your agendas out of serious virus discussions.

 

The Murph makes some good points though, what makes O-S shine is that you can't just make it into a virus. Since that wound involve hoding the code and violating the GPL, if you do reveal the code then the vius can be cleaned before it launches.

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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TheMurph

To note: GPL was but an example, not a requirement to define software as "open-source."  ; )

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