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Prominent Hacker Group Launches Web Application to Combat Malicious Software


Wednesday, August 9, 2006; 06:06 AM

The Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc), a prominent technology activist group, announced a new application designed to collect, analyze, and ultimately help defeat malicious software (malware). Accessible via OffensiveComputing.net, the application gives programmers and end-users free access to a library of over 31,000 hostile software files, including viruses, rootkits, spybots, worms, etc. Users can upload an unknown or suspicious file into the library, request a match, and instantly obtain information on the malicious file, including an analysis of how it operates.

Valsmith and Danny Quist, founders of OffensiveComputing, recently unveiled the new application at DefCon 14 to an audience of 1000+ in a speech entitled “Hacking Malware: Offense is the New Defense.” They were also interviewed for “Web Warriors,” a documentary by TellTale Productions that will detail the escalating global battle against malware.

OffensiveComputing offers an environment where users can work together to address the destructive effects of malware. It provides full visibility into the harmful files, building up the collective knowledge of its users and facilitating the reverse engineering process. It also suggests techniques to help users defeat sophisticated malware protections such as encryption and compression.

“Open analysis and collaboration are key to effectively fighting malware,” notes Valsmith. “ZDnet recently reported that, according to AusCERT, commercially available anti-virus programs are only able to detect 20% of malicious code. Different AV programs fail in different ways, thus creating an incomplete and fragmented picture of the malware in play today. The closed-source, closed analysis methods used by AV vendors have been woefully inadequate, albeit extremely profitable.”

“An 80% failure rate is unacceptable!” said cDc founder G.Ratte’. “Computer security can’t be left up to greedy profiteers. The AV vendors are fighting each other for market share and the end-users are suffering. The people deserve better.”

Founded in Lubbock, TX, Cult of The Dead Cow (cDc) is among the most influential hacking group in the world. The cDc alumni reads like a Who's Who of hacking and includes a former Presidential advisor on Internet security, among others. The group is further distinguished by publishing the longest running e-zine on the Internet [est. 1984], stretching the limits of the First Amendment, and fighting anyone or any government that aspires to limit free speech.



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