Fight Virus With Virus
Paul Boutin argues that the laziness and cluelessness of computer users are the only things that permit computer viruses to spread. His solution:
The only way to stop MyDoom might be to out-hack the hackers. In the past, “white hat” programmers have launched viruses that expose security holes without causing destruction in an attempt to make computer users more security-conscious. Last year, one programmer took the next step. As the Blaster worm circled the globe, the do-gooder released a worm called Nachi that infiltrated the same security hole as Blaster. But Nachi wasn’t a Blaster variant, it was a Blaster antidote: It erased copies of Blaster it found on PCs it invaded, then downloaded and installed a Windows update from Microsoft to secure the computer against further Blaster (and Nachi) attacks. Ingenious! There was only one problem: Nachi overloaded networks with traffic, just like Blaster had.
So far, no one’s created an effective antidote to MyDoom, which has done far more damage and shows no sign of stopping. While someone tried to repurpose Nachi for the job in February, that’s the wrong approach. What we need is a final MyDoom variantÃ¢€”let’s call it MyDoom.OmegaÃ¢€”that breaches the exact same security holes as versions A through O, yet spreads itself slowly and carefully to prevent traffic jams. It could even launch warnings on the user’s screen for a few days (“Hey dummy! Click here to protect yourself!”) before going ahead and patching the hole itself.
Interesting. This amounts to self-installing anti-virus software, which makes sense in theory. Of course, harmful viruses disguised as white knights would seem the obvious countermeasure.