[svlug] eWeek article on MS Outlook

Seth David Schoen schoen at loyalty.org
Wed May 17 17:34:51 PDT 2000

dfox at belvdere.vip.best.com writes:

> > There is NO way to reliably determine what is or is not a virus. None.
> Isn't the real requirement for a virus that it have the ability to 
> replicate itself, infecting other systems -- or at least have the
> potential to do so? AFAIK, that's the test to determine whether or
> not something is a 'virus' vs. something else that's harmful, like a
> trojan.

The maybe-academic point is that there is no way to tell which
programs do this and which don't.

Now, you could argue that some languages or environments don't have
the capability to support viruses at all, or that some languages
have identifiable subsets which can't support viruses at all.  In
that case, verifying that something only uses such a subset
constitutes verifying that it's not a virus.

But this wouldn't work in general.

Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org>  | And do not say, I will study when I
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/  | have leisure; for perhaps you will
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF)  | not have leisure.  -- Pirke Avot 2:5

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