Virus Research and Ethics Analytical Essay by Nicky

Virus Research and Ethics
This paper looks at ethical concerns connected to the control of computer viruses.
# 147894 | 2,223 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Aug 07, 2011 in Computer and Technology (Internet) , Law (General) , Ethics (General)

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The paper is an examination of the "controlled burn" ideas of Ford, Bush and Boulatov for helping to reduce the spread of computer viruses. It also looks at alternatives to this method, such as education and patch updates, and the legal implications connected to this issue. The author concludes that the "controlled burn" concept has some practical merit, but is problematic in terms of legal and ethical concerns, and perhaps alternatives would be better.


Ford, Bush and Boulatov's Benefits of Viruses to the Internet
Less Ethically-Suspect Alternatives
Legal Implications of Controlled Worm Releases
Safeguards that Would Need to be Put Into Place

From the Paper:

"For this reason, a deliberately released worm, within the restrictions of specific parameters, could act as a controlled forest fire burn - forcing administrators to update their security. The damage from this worm would be significantly less than if a truly malicious worm were released. This is the basis of Ford, Bush and Boulatov's recommendation to intentionally release a controlled threat that would not patch susceptible systems, but would possibly render them unexploitable for a period of time. In this way, administrators would then be forced to take action that would protect them from more virulent and damaging pieces of MMC later. This proposal raises a variety of ethical concerns. Revisiting the SQL Slammer outbreak, it becomes clear that what Ford, Bush and Boulatov recommend could have the effect they surmise. "Slammer exploited a vulnerability that was known six months before Slammer hit; a patch from Microsoft was available all that time. Microsoft labeled this patch as 'critical."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ford, R., Bush, M., & Boulatov, A."Internet Instability and Disturbance: Goal or Menace?" Proceedings of the 2005 Workshop on New Security Paradigms. 2005: p. 3-8.
  • Frohmann, B. "Subjectivity and Information Ethics." Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology. 59(2) Jan 2008: p. 267-277.
  • Johnson, M. & Rogers, K. "The Fraud Act 2006: The E-Crime Prosecutor's Champion or the Creator of a New Inchoate Offence?" International Review of Law, Computers & Technology. 21(3) Nov 2007: p.. 295-304.
  • Ledin, G. "Not Teaching Viruses and Worms is Harmful." Communications of the ACM. 48(1) Jan 2005: p. 144.
  • Malibiran, B. "Are We Ready for Another Love Bug?" Ateneo Law Journal. 53(1) Jun 2008: p. 32-104.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Virus Research and Ethics (2011, August 07) Retrieved August 13, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Virus Research and Ethics" 07 August 2011. Web. 13 August. 2022. <>