Dueling spam-germs

The stock spam I mentioned here and here comes, it turns out, from a botnet created by the rather interesting "SpamThru" trojan, which is equipped with a stolen chunk of antivirus code that's meant to get rid of competing malware on the victims' computers.

So different pieces of malware are now fighting over computers. I think this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's possible that we'll end up with waves of well-engineered malware sweeping over the world's unsecured computers doing Bad Thing A one week and Bad Thing B the next, of course; the only solution is proper security from the top down, but you can forget about Microsoft making that happen in the Wintel world at any point in the near future.

But it's also possible that whatever malware manages to compete best in any given week will be less harmful - to the unsecured computer, and to the rest of the world - than whatever it replaces.

Since malware writers are usually crappy programmers, it is eminently possible that we'll see a significant amount of malware that successfully kills previous infestations, but then does nothing much at all.

5 Responses to “Dueling spam-germs”

  1. AussieDan Says:

    Or even more exciting, malware that attempts to remove previous infestations and cheerfully hoses the host in the process.

  2. peridot Says:

    Malware that hoses the host doesn't propagate very effectively - the user's machine dies, they take it to the shop, the guy at the shop wipes it and charges them a pile of money; no more malware.

  3. AussieDan Says:

    That's only if it manages to hose a significant portion of the infected hosts, if it only manages to accidentally kill 1 in 100 or 1 in 10 it will still spread very effectively.

  4. JL Says:

    Hm... what if malware writers get proficient enough that their spawn start playing "King of the Hill" type games with our computers.

    The first gets in, locks up the fort and cleans up house (in a good way). Kind of like an uninvited Mary Poppins, except it takes an occasional break from sprucing up your computer for some DoS.

  5. HSVenforcer Says:

    But if these anti malware malware programs got to efficient then they would probably take half of windows out with it. Then again i cant say as though i would cry if WGA got smoked

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