Why People Write Computer Viruses

Posted by fmatlock on May 9, 2012

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We all hear about new computer viruses we should protect ourselves from all the time. But what is the motivation behind developing a computer virus? What makes someone create a program designed to wreak havoc on the Internet?

Information Farming

Malware and viruses sift through your files including your documents, pictures and email address book looking for information that can be used to make business contacts. You data along with data from many other people is stored in a database that will be sold to others as a qualified list of “opportunity seekers.” You end up getting a mountain of spam and a mailbox full of pure junk mail. If your address books also contain home addresses then your friends get the benefit of all the junk mail too. Unfortunately, some companies see this invasion of privacy as a victimless crime since you are not doing any permanent damage to anyone’s hard drive or data. Let’s face it stealing data is still theft it doesn’t matter what the intended purpose.

e-Trouble Makers

The fact is that some people love to create problems for other people. Perhaps it is someone who has an axe to grind with big business. Some may love the thrill of knowing they created something that got attention all over the world. Maybe it is someone who thinks the world is getting too dependent on the Internet. Of course, creating computer viruses may also just be a way to get attention, even if one has to remain anonymous in order to avoid going to jail. For some people it isn’t to cause trouble, they just want the challenge of creating a virus and launching it successfully. For this type of person it is the process that brings them satisfaction, not the virus itself.

Computer viruses cost individuals and companies millions of dollars each year. While some computer viruses are merely irritating, there are viruses that have crippled whole infrastructures and created major problems. No matter what “reason” is behind creating a virus, there simply is no excuse for developing one. The majority if not all of the people that create computer viruses are most likely mentally ill or emotionally damaged… perhaps both.