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[MSNBC] Criminals try to "copyright" malware

post #1 of 7
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SAN FRANCISCO - Even criminal hackers want to protect their intellectual property, and they've come up with a method akin to copyrighting — with an appropriate dash of Internet thuggery thrown in.

Professional virus writers are now selling a suite of software on the Internet with an unusual attachment: a detailed licensing agreement that promises penalties for redistributing the malicious code without permission.

"I just kind of chuckled — it's kind of humorous," said Zulfikar Ramzan, senior principal security researcher with Symantec Corp. Symantec researchers noticed a Russian-language example floating around the Internet and wrote about it on the company's official blog this week. They said it's the only example they've seen.

The software is used to infect computers and control them remotely. The zombie machines can be used to pump out spam, launch more attacks or steal personal information from their owners.

Networks of zombie machines — known as "bot nets" — can be extremely lucrative, sometimes bringing millions of dollars in profit for their authors and their distributors...
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post #2 of 7
Won't happen.

Infact they should just arrest them when they try to copywrite it, cause the world would be better without people like that on the streets.

Spam/popups/popdowns/malware should be classified as illegal just like viruses are.
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlocke View Post
Infact they should just arrest them when they try to copywrite it, cause the world would be better without people like that on the streets.
If I recall correctly, there is an implicit form of copyright that does not necessarily require you to "go somewhere" and "get a copyright". It's not as strong and is probably more difficult to enforce, I would imagine. But if I wrote the Great American Novel but never published it; and then you stole it from me somehow and tried to publish it; I would still have copyright protection of some sort over that work, assuming I could prove that I wrote it.

Regardless, there is obviously no protection for these guys. Even if they tried to sue someone based on such an implicit copyright, they would be charged with criminal acts at that time. It is definitely a stupid idea.
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post #4 of 7
lol. while reading this I was thinking about how one would go about patenting methods of pirating, or something of the like. It just doesn't make any sense. As Murlocke said, all this spam and crap should be illegal.
post #5 of 7
This thread needs more facepalm.
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post #6 of 7
I don't get it... so if the virus writers sell the virus to other people, wouldn't the virus programmers not be doing the bad things? Especially if the programmer tells the buyer not to redistribute the virus...
I don't think the programmer is technically at fault in this case, although morally at fault for sure...
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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlocke View Post
Infact they should just arrest them when they try to copywrite it, cause the world would be better without people like that on the streets.
If they were on the streets it would be fine, it's in front of a computer where they shouldn't be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VulcanDragon View Post
If I recall correctly, there is an implicit form of copyright that does not necessarily require you to "go somewhere" and "get a copyright".
You're absolutely correct. By creating something, you're automatically the copyright holder. Registration is not legally necessary for you to hold the copyright to intellectual material you created. Registration can help when litigation arises, but otherwise is unnecessary.

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