Hoaxes, myths,
urban legends




About us


Truth about computer security hysteria
Truth About Computer Security Hysteria

Submit your essay by 8 October

Rob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Wednesday, 26 September 2001

As read by the author (MP3) GOOD MORNING, STUDENTS. Welcome to Virus 423. This course will give you five credit hours toward your computer security degree.

Your homework for today: take a stand for/against U.S. export controls on antivirus products & technology...

We've got a campus-wide virus outbreak right now, so I'll need to cut this class short. I've only got enough time to give your first homework assignment:

Suppose the new U.S. Homeland Defense office hires you to oversee the nation's cyber-security. Suppose your first duty is to study the antivirus industry's transfer of virus & antivirus technology to China. You need to decide if these transfers constitute a threat to national security. Take a stand for/against export controls on antivirus products & technology. Justify your stance in an essay of any length.

Hold your horses, students! I didn't accuse antivirus firms of giving key antivirus technology to an oppressive Communist regime for capitalistic reasons. I only said "suppose" they do it. Antivirus firms only admit they supply virus technology to Beijing. Now calm down. Let's continue.

If you take a stand for export controls, then you should explain its impact (if any) on antivirus marketing and research. If you take a stand against export controls, then you should explain its impact (if any) on the government's fear of a digital Pearl Harbor.

Submit your essays to my email address by 8 October. I'll choose the best ones for and against antivirus export control, and the rest of the class will get to review them.

Okay, you have your homework assignment. Class dismissed. If you want some extra credit, you can follow me to the network security operations center. We need to clean the campus of this virus as soon as possible. Why, the art department may never fully recover from the loss of their computer-controlled pottery wheels...