Now here's an idea for a socially-responsible virus. Imagine this: a virus that first checks to see if there is a virus-checker and enabled firewall on the system. If there isn't, it keeps popping up a window telling the user to install anti-virus/firewall software, and delivers a lecture on the dangers of unprotected systems. The only way the user can get rid of this nuisance is to install anti-virus software to zap it. If the virus is self-replicating it will slowly reduce the pool of unprotected systems. But that's only the beginning:
Stage 2 - If the virus discovers that it's host is a spam zombie it locks it up solid so that it's unusable. All the user sees is an information window. To get the machine going again the user has to get a utility which will remove the virus, all other viruses AND
the trojan. It won't be long before the likes of Norton get something onto the market. In the meantime, although to the user the machine appears to be locked up, the benign virus is still propagating itself in the background across the net to other unprotected systems.
I don't think there are any logical flaws in this, but no doubt someone will soon tell me if there is. Wouldn't be surprised if one of the main anti-virus software companies might (secretly) commission such a virus. It'd be good for business.
Any coders in the house......