[extropy-chat] Script kiddies are not that bad (was Re: Recipe for Destruction - Joy/Kurzweil NYTimes Op-Ed)

Alejandro Dubrovsky alito at organicrobot.com
Wed Oct 19 06:38:39 UTC 2005

On Tue, 2005-10-18 at 14:28 -0700, The Avantguardian wrote:
> Kurzweil is trying to scare you with. To date there
> are no parallels to "script-kiddies" in biotech that
> have merely to "cut and paste" malicious genetic code
> to cause damage.  

Even script-kiddies themselves don't seem to desire to cause real
damage.  Most try to be as harmless as possible and tend to cause damage
only by side-effect (bugs) or by the propagation itself (DoS). Note that
the internet has been widely popular for at least a decade now, and I'm
yet to hear of the following viri (in order of increasing difficulty and
damage) (I haven't followed this closely for about a decade either, so
please do inform me if they have appeared):
1)  Virus that spreads for a week, then writes over every sector of the
hard drive.  This one's trivial to make and devastating in terms of data
loss for the unbackedup masses.
2)  Same as 1) but add an inbetween step of screwing around with
video-sync rate until the monitor gives up the ghost (prolly more doable
a decade ago than now)
3)  Same as 2) but after overwriting everything, send a series of ATA
commands that convert the HD into a brick.
(http://lwn.net/2000/0727/kernel.php3)  (btw, all of the above i mean
for the windows platform, the link is to a linux forum only because
that's where i heard of the idea)

2 and 3 are obviously more relevant to 3rd worlders where the hardware
cost is an important factor, and are probably not available to the
script kiddies in term of ability. 1 certainly is.

So which one is it, are people extremely unlikely to be evil (less than
1 in the shitload of virus writers that have surfaced over the last
decade), are script kiddies extremely unskilled (this one still doesn't
explain a toned down version of 1 which just formats the hd), or have I
just not heard of these famous viri?

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