I am also writing to the amateur hackers (as opposed to processional criminals) to issue a warning: We are rapidly approaching a point at which authorities will take any attack, regardless of why it was launched or by whom, as a major threat worthy of the most aggressive enforcement and prosecution. Hacking is about to be thrown in with terrorism, regardless of the actual intent of the perpetrator. Those who create evil hacks for fun need to understand they are about to be thrown in with people of another sort entirely. And when this happens these amateurs will provide the enhanced criminal justice system its first red meat.
My hope is that a little peer pressure can be exerted. That the people in this for the fun and prank value can be separated from the truly evil people and that the overall volume of malware, viruses and other threats can be turned down quite a bit. But I wont hold my breath. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center at http://security.eweek.com for the latest security news, reviews and analysis.
Viruses and malware can keep computers from benefiting people who need them. Should Botswana, for example, have to invest its meager resources in all sorts of security stuff because some loser with no life and a hacker book wants to prove himself by releasing a virus? Thats not hurting Microsoft; thats keeping computers away from people who need them.