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Security Worms

When Viruses Infect Worms 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-malware-all-the-way-down dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bitdefender reports that there exist viruses which, when they encounter other viruses, will merge and combine effects so that they create a new virus. 'A virus infects executable files; and a worm is an executable file. If the virus reaches a PC already compromised by a worm, the virus will infect the exe files on that PC — including the worm. When the worm spreads, it will carry the virus with it. Although this happens unintentionally, the combined features from both pieces of malware will inflict a lot more damage than the creators of either piece of malware intended. While most file infectors have inbuilt spreading mechanisms, just like Trojans and worms (spreading routines for RDP, USB, P2P, chat applications, or social networks), some cannot replicate or spread between computers. And it seems a great idea to “outsource” the transportation mechanism to a different piece of malware (i.e. by piggybacking a worm).'"
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When Viruses Infect Worms

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  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex.project-retrograde@com> on Friday January 27, 2012 @09:04PM (#38847089)

    Digital Intelligent Design at work you mean... These programs weren't created by /dev/null you know...

    It's true that the programs were not read from /dev/null fully formed, however the evolutionary process wasn't directly designed by humans either -- It was a natural product of automated data replication systems existing. Much like the first self replicating chemical chain's existence spawned life. It's fun to point to our involvement in the program's initial creation, but that's just about like pointing to a star and calling it an "intelligent designer" because it forged the atoms.

    If you've never done so I suggest you do a little light AI programming. Feed Forward neural networks aren't hard to setup. When coupled with bitwise genetic programming that applies selection pressure and "breeds" new generations of N.Nets from the best "survivors" you can literally watch emergent behavior occur. This is how I taught a simple AI to move toward food sources and avoid dangers, and how I taught a bit more complex AI to recognize numbers and letters. The latter was only more complex in that it had more inputs and outputs, hidden layers, and thus a larger genome -- All used exactly the same AI architecture, the additional "complexity" was due to different initial construction parameters.

    Yank my fingernails out and beat me with a harmer, I still couldn't tell you exactly how their "programming" achieves their behaviors -- The AI neural networks initially had randomized states. I can tell you the overall process, but not the "design" of their synaptic pathways -- No one actually "programmed" my OCR's AI... It was evolved instead.

    If an intelligent designer, like myself, can impose artificial selection pressure to cause some degree of behavioral evolution among n.nets, or against mice to shrink their tails, then it's easy to understand that the designer need not exist: If only the dumb environment exerts selection pressures evolution will occur.

    Let me put it this way: The malware designers didn't intend for the virus to infect the worm -- They didn't intelligently design this behavior. If this proves beneficial to the duplication of their data against a natural selection pressure of their environment, like AV scanners or computer network configurations, then the new combined data set "organism" has been evolved, not designed.

    IMHO, the existence of initial conditions for (AI) life does not prove the existence of an intelligent designer as the initial conditions could exist naturally for such life: Eg malware running amok on the Internet vs carefully evolved n.nets in a lab... Even if you assert that either is indeed a product of Intelligent Design, then you must also agree they were not programmed by /dev/null nor merely by humans at /dev/console, rather the actual programming came from /dev/random. (Which is literally true in the case of my OCR's AI.)

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