Magazine, university draw ire of antivirus industry

Thursday, 12 June 2003, 3:16 PM EST

First the University of Calgary announced plans to offer a class in writing computer viruses and other destructive programs. Then Wired magazine published the code of a virus-like program that caused mass havoc on the Internet this year.

Both developments infuriated virus-fighting companies and illustrated the high-stakes dilemma of computer security: Do you keep vulnerabilities secret or spread the knowledge so problems can be remedied faster?

The antivirus industry is squarely in the first camp.

Dave Perry, director of education at Trend Micro, considers the article in this week's Wired detailing the Slammer worm a cheap grab for attention with no educational or ethical justification. He likened it to pornography, saying its publication could loosen the standards of acceptable behavior in the computer world.

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