University of Calgary to Offer Virus-Writing Class
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Thread: University of Calgary to Offer Virus-Writing Class

  1. #1
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    University of Calgary to Offer Virus-Writing Class

    It's just incredible .....

    full article here It has come to this: A professor at the University of Calgary in the fall will teach a class that will show students how to code viruses and Trojans. The university is billing the class as the first of its kind in Canada, and it may well be the first such course anywhere.

    The class, entitled "Computer Viruses and Malware," will "focus on developing malicious software such as computer viruses, worms and Trojan horses," according to a press release announcing the availablilty of the course. Students will also learn how to deconstruct and analyze malicious programs and delve into the ethics and legalities surrounding viruses.
    What's the next step a course about rape & murder .........
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    Eh, I can sort-of see the point, I mean I see both sides, but if you know how to write a virus or trojan you know how they operate and should be able to assess the situation quicker and more efficiently.
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    I agree with Bludgeon. In order to better protect against viruses and worms, people should know how they function. But I think ( and hope) that the class will focus more on the analysis of the viruses and the ethics of their use than on the construction part.
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    yeah! u r right but on the other side of the moon there r script kiddies ...

    I mean the one who built virii don't need that course, the one who fight virii should have good programming skills and system undertstanding and may need that type of course but the dangerous one's a r script kiddies who learn just how to modify for their own benefit existing progz with the minimum programming skills.

    I think this type of course should be under close survey and dedicated for professional working for antivirii cie...

    Maybe students details are filled in a "FBI" database for that purpose ...
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    "Maybe students details are filled in a "FBI" database for that purpose ..."
    Eh, that would go against my ideals on privacy, and I see your point. . .but quite a few college classes could be considered putting 'bad' knowledge into people's heads. . .ie chemistry.
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    Originally posted here by bludgeon
    "Maybe students details are filled in a "FBI" database for that purpose ..."
    Eh, that would go against my ideals on privacy, and I see your point. . .but quite a few college classes could be considered putting 'bad' knowledge into people's heads. . .ie chemistry.

    i know people that took Chemistry and started making there own hallucinogenics.... It all depends how you use the knowledge you gain. for all we know someone taking the virii class may find a way to prevent them better and also find a way to prevent virii that arent even made yet.
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    Originally posted here by Networker
    yeah! u r right but on the other side of the moon there r script kiddies ...
    exactly. most skript kiddies wish to remain as such, and have no interest in coding, so they propably won't bother going to this class. It's much easier to download the newest point and click exploits than to learn C++ ... or any language for that matter...

    by the way, is h4x0r pronounced "hacker" or "Hacksor"? I was playing mancala with a script kiddie this weekend, and he was wearing the latest in "i'm a wannabe hacker" apparel and said that he had "leet hacksor skills." (1337 h4x0r 5k1LL5?)

    just curious as to how that is spoken IRL.

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    One of the most informative documents I ever read was "The <color here> book of Virus writing" -I never created a virus but I thought information presented was extrmely valuable and gave me some development insights. I think it was the Red book. . . but I am not sure.

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    Dspeidel, I think it's the "little black book of virus writing".
    As for the script-kiddies, I might be wrong but aren't most script-kiddies just bored teens who eventually grow out of their "script-kidding" days and start their lives?
    Second, just because the class teaches you how to build virii doesn't mean the class is easy.
    Sure, it'll probably give you the outlines but as most CS classes, the major part of the work is done on your own. And the class will probably have some kind of prerequisite (intro to C, C++,...) and I doubt script-kiddies can put themselves into the "pain" of learning these programming languages.
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  10. #10
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    Originally posted here by Networker

    Maybe students details are filled in a "FBI" database for that purpose ...
    I doubt that the University of Calgary would work with the FBI on this one (different countries). Maybe the RCMP. That said, if the professor teaches the course like I teach mine there is a degree of ethics and an agreement that students have to understand. Most students that take a course like this aren't there to do destructive behaviour. They truly want to understand how things work by creating something like that. It's more fun when the topic is interesting. I have no doubts that the students in that course will learn tonnes.

    In addition, most courses like this carry a lot more of a risk factor. Usually it's a "you break the rules, you're expelled and the cops will be waiting for you when leave the campus" kind of a thing. So it's fairly easy to find those that might turn to the "dark side".

    Here's the link to their description (short descript):

    http://www.ucalgary.ca/pubs/calendar...s/CPSC.htm#599

    Given the position in the degree (4th year, Honours year) and the fact you have to meet the Head of the Department, makes me think a lot is required of this course and it's no script kiddie course.
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