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Virus Publisher Speaks Out

A Brazilian virus programmer criticised by virus firms for posting his code publicly has spoken out to defend his decision. Marcos Velasco, from Rio de Janeiro, is behind the Symbian worm Lasco. In an interview with Finnish IT magazine ITviikko, due to be published tomorrow, he said: "I wanted to demonstrate how the worm works. The reason I published the source code was that the anti-virus researchers at Kaspersky did not believe it was mine."

An English translation of the article has been posted on the Mobile Monday site. In it, Velasco describes the motivation behind his work. "I'm a professional programmer. Viruses, hacking and security are my favourites. Viruses are my life," he said.

He published his version of the Cabir worm's source code last month. It's the first virus to infect mobile phones and spread via Bluetooth connections. He also produced his own worm, Lasco.A, based on the same source. However, it affects Symbian installation files too. He denies he released his source code in the hope of a work offer from a security company: "I work in my own company and I don't think that will change. Security is a hobby to me."

Making malware available is illegal in most countries - but not, apparently, in Brazil. This situation has angered anti-virus firms. A spokesman for F-Secure said: "Virus writing should be illegal - and it should be illegal globally. When it's not, we get problems like this. Any kid, any lunatic, any anarchist anywhere can download all his viruses complete with source code and do whatever they want with them."

View: Mobile Monday article

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