Computer viruses – A great tool! (which you already use)


Thousands of computers running Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system were unable to connect to the internet after installing an anti-virus update [1]. Users said they were also unable to access their internal company networks. It is not the first time an anti-virus update results in a disaster (see here).

This reminds me of how much we misunderstand computer viruses.

On the eve of computer programming (see Cohen, F., Computer Viruses – Theory and Experiments, 7th Security Conf., DOD/NBS, September 1984 – see here) viruses were considered also as a very good tool. One could use them to diseminate information to many computers throughout a network, control situations, make updates (the case of anti-virus updates), use multiple computers in a network to perform complex calculations (see the Xerox PARC Worm – see here) et cetera.

A good tool is a good tool. If it is used in a bad way, that does not change the fact that it is still a… good tool!

Take frequent backups and stop being afraid of viruses!

Rest assured. Your computer and data security is on the hands of a virus.

You use a virus every day!

Suicide, Computers, Free will, Flame…

The creators of the super-evolved computer virus Flame starting sending a command script to some of the computers infected by it [1], that makes the virus commit “suicide” and destroy itself.

If being human is defined by having free will and if commiting suicide is the ultimate expression of that free will, then commiting suicide is the main way of expressing you being a human.

But if computer viruses can do that, what is the meaning?

Could we be programmed to end our own lived? Could we be programmed to self-destruct? How can a self-conscious being decide to stop “being” ? Unless “being” and “not being” is a human-made distinction which is void of meaning…

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