Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Not the Happy Cuddle Club.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Please log in.
Before you can vote, you need to register. Please log in or create an account.

insider trading virus

Widely visible virus infection affects stock market
  (+12, -5)
(+12, -5)
  [vote for,

Probably in response to the widespread infection with the malicious "love bug" email virus, stocks of providers of antivirus software are up dramatically.

This is a crime (or a made-for-TV plot) waiting to happen.

A group of rich investors contracts with a shady hacker to write a virus that spreads itself through traditional, invisible means (phase I), and then, on signal from the investors, turns "visible" and starts behaving like an email virus (phase II). Antivirus stocks go up, the investors sell, the virus is turned off or just takes its course like an ordinary email virus.

(In the made for TV version, some crucial piece of machinery has been broken by an unintended side effect of phase I and ends up endangering someone close to the hacker. Hacker wants to end the virus infection in phase I, that upsets the investors, who kidnap hacker's S.O. to ensure cooperation. S.O. manages to smuggle in and use a wireless email device, but the message gets lost in the mail storm of phase II...)

jutta, May 05 2000


       The plot in Jutta's last paragraph is still too sensible for TV. Clearly, the hacker and S.O. need to establish communication in the last fifteen minutes (assuming a 2hr show) _through the virus itself_.
cosma, May 05 2000

       What makes you think this hasn't already happened? Why wouldn't McAfee and Norton be secretly funding virus writers? By cooperating with the virus writers, they would not only enlarge the market demand for their product, but would have advance knowledge of the virus, so they could provide a solution that much quicker (but not before the 6 p.m. news).   

       I've often thought it would be a hacker's dream to be able to infect the anti-virus software itself, so that the effects are triggered only when the anti-virus check is done. Maybe our existing anti-virus software comes to us infected, but the virus is prevented from launching until the anti-virus software is uninstalled...
beauxeault, Jul 06 2000

       Believe it or not, at least one early release of McAffee's antivirus software was ACTUALLY INFECTED by a virus- right on the installation disks themselves!   

       Lots of fun to install- if your computer didn't crash immediately after loading the software, then it found a whole bunch of viruses the first time you ran the software. Chances were also that at least one of these viruses was unfixable as well......
BigThor, Jul 26 2000

       I'm still waiting for the RIAA to write a virus that attaches itself to all MP3 files.....
Alcin, Aug 27 2000

       And gets executed how?
bookworm, Aug 27 2000

       I voted <b>for</b> this. Not because I particularly like the idea, but because the world <b>works</b> that way:   


       And in HTML if it works: <a href="http://download.mcafee.com/updates/3xa.asp">Click here.</a>   

       Basically, McAfee believes that its customers will continue to shell out for "upgrades". What upgrade could anti-virus software possibly need? It does one thing and (supposedly) does it well: it scans files for virii.   

       Admittedly the pattern file needs to be updated periodically, but -- dropping support for repackaging the files into another format? Shouldn't that be, like, illegal or something? ;-)   

       I'm serious, the repackaging takes, if they did it right, <b>ZERO</b> extra steps to perform! I could write the Perl code for them (if they haven't already done it) to repackage it and post it on their web site, so they don't need to spend any additional resources keeping their customers happy -- which is good for word-of-mouth sales. I guess they fell into the "all customers are streams of revenue" trap -- but all customers don't have to keep buying at The Company Store.   

       I'm pissed.   

       Anyone know of a virus software maker who doesn't use this business practice?   

       Thanks in advance.
Thing 1, Aug 28 2000

       HTML doesn't work. Use "link", please.   

       I'm not quite sure what business practice you're referring to. What's this business about "repackaging"? It's true that virus software makers like to charge for updates on a subscription basis, but I don't see anything particularly pernicious about this form of revenue; they are providing an ongoing service, after all.
egnor, Aug 28 2000

       ...Director: Jutta   

       With thanks to: The Halfbakery.   

       Hardly any animals were harmed in the making of this film.   

       Sponsored by Good Ol' Bill's Spare Ribs...
sadie, Apr 26 2002

       Ive had decent success buying stocks based on a very specific global fears. Last February when Putin literally disappeared for 10 days I made a killing on Russian ETF. and I did great on biotech just when we hit peak ebola fear. Obviously this is harder to do with longer term global fears like that of an imminent recession, but some people manage to do it successfully.
bob, Feb 21 2016

       If you take most of our halfbakery screen names and append virus, the result is scary. examples: cosma virus,   

       jutta virus.   

       beauxault virus, bob virus, big thor virus, alcin virus, bookworm virus, thing1 virus, egnor virus, sadie virus, popbottle virus
popbottle, Feb 22 2016

       Howevertheless, the MaxwellBuchanan Virus just sounds like it would ineffectually add a few random words to your spellchecker's dictionary.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 22 2016

       …notexactly virus
notexactly, Feb 23 2016


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle