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Thoughts on Using Malware to Catch Crime

Police officials in Germany have voiced their interest in designing software tools that could help them unearth people engaged in crime through their computer systems. The tools could be similar to software, which criminals use for online fraud and identity theft. They could be similar to programs that track keystrokes, login and passwords. However, security companies said they would not modify their software to include Trojan horse programs that law enforcement imagines to plant on suspected PCs.

Anti-virus firms have only started to attend to malware and its impact. Most anti-virus software has minimum or no protection except for some latest versions, which generally include malware scanner as part of Internet security. Still the exceptional versions are not as thorough to remove malware, as they should be.

On March 15 2007, Magnus Kalkuhl, a virus analyst for Kaspersky Lab Ltd. said at CeBIT that Germany has prepared all plans to spend U.S. $264,000 to materialize the idea and engage two programmers. Officials have informally dubbed the project "Bundestrojaner", which translates to English as "Federal Trojan", reported PCWorld in its news publication.

Kalkuhl continued to say that two recent rulings in a German court have raised doubt if by using such mechanism that does not include informing the targeted users, the process would be in compliance with the German law with respect to investigation and searches.

One opposition to the government program and its idea of online searches came from Chaos Computer Club in Germany, which says such monitoring could be a violation of the fundamental rights of a user. The thought may introduce another point relating to whether online criminals are using anti-virus or anti-malware security solutions to detect and clean viruses and trojans from a system.

The project could compel law enforcement to change the law, Kalkuhl said at CeBIT. At the same time Kaspersky asserted it would not accommodate a sly police program in its software to infect and compromise a PC. Such a practice goes against the intention with which the firm develops software. For, it would mean that the function would determine the program rather than its creator.

Related article: Tactics of Malware Attacks to Shift to Newer Technologies

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