Computer parasites are evil. No one likes them and almost everyone can share terrible experience related to some malware attack. But can malware tactics be employed to do something useful and harmless?
Most of malware is not really complicated; however it is capable of spreading through computers using software vulnerabilities and other methods. Could these tactics be used for fighting infections? Would you like someone invading your privacy for the better good? Microsoft tested malware-like technique for updating Windows XP and Windows Vista automatically back in September, 2007. Updates come every week but this one was different: users couldn’t choose either they wanted to install it or not. The stealth update raised discussions on reliability of Microsoft tactics. Most of computer owners wouldn’t like someone controlling their machine, even if it’s for a legitimate reason.
What if we could make an anti-virus in a shape of virus and let it spread through computers in order to fix them? This idea was already put into practice sometime ago. Welchia worm was designed to expose and patch certain Windows vulnerability; however it’s known as a malware and not as the “good worm”. Although its purpose was to download a patch, it also slowed down a computer and made it vulnerable for malicious attacks. Welchia worm was not acceptable for one more big reason: basically it was invading one’s privacy.
Malware-based anti-malware doesn’t have a future because it’s too similar to computer parasites. If it is distributed as malware and it acts like malware, what makes it different from malware?