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I'm surprised someone hasn't "Whitehatted" a bug...


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Whitehats play by the rules. Botnets are anyway composed of the machines, connections and bandwidth of the unknowing and innocent, can't go there without invitation, not even to do good and prevent harm (not even if they're not innocent - on the principal that murdering a murderer is murder, no matter the motivation). Viruses exist that routinely wipe out competing viruses. Botherders use them all the time, one of the features of advanced trojans. A trojan was written up (somewhere) recently, specifically designed to wipe out botnets or a specific botnet, to wrench control away from the controllers. Not deployed because it is illegal to do that. But not a great technical challenge.

Anyway, leaving legality aside, it would just become an 'arms race' and the good guys just don't have the resources and motivation (profits to be protected, egos to be stoked) of the bad guys. Change that - like a major country declaring botnet formation and deployment a terrorist act (common suggestion) - and things might happen. The 'extralegal' measures that might imply could make the cure worse than the disease in the eyes of some/many.

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