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How did you start out in computers?
It was 1982, I wanted a computer for some reason and annoyed my parents enough to get one. They bought me a Sinclair ZX81 and it went on from there.
How and when did you start out in the virus scene?
I think it may have been late '93 I decided it would be fun to start a virus group. I met up with Qark via a local warez BBS and the rest is history.
Have you written viruses? If so which would you like to take credit for?
I wrote viruses. I wouldn't consider any of them worth mentioning however.
How do you name your viruses?
No idea. The names simply came to me.
Which programming languages do you know?
8086 Asm, Basic and Pascal.
What programming language do you like using the most?
I haven't really enjoyed coding since I was 15.
Are you a member of a VX group?
Which AV software do you like/respect the most? Which the least?
There are too many AV packages to keep track of these days. I wouldn't know.
What are your goals (VX wise)?
I've pretty much achieved all I set out to do. Who knows what's to come.
What is your view on the continuous 'war' between VX and AV.
There needs to be that extra challenge involved in virus writing other than the infection of new Microsoft operating systems and so on. The AV crowd provide this challenge.
Where did you get you handle? What does it mean?
A computer game for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k which was on the covertape of some magazine I bought in '89.
What is your view on Virus Creation software (eg. VCL, PS-MPC etc.)?
I've never really agreed with the concept. All they do is bring much attention to the author and many lame viruses into the wild. Or at least, they did in their day.
What is your view on macro viruses vs. assembly or HLL viruses?
Though macro viruses make up a larger percentage of "infections" these days, I consider them to be trivial. With a decent reference book I can't see why every Basic programmer hasn't written one.
Have you ever confirmed one of your viruses 'in-the-wild'?
I've never heard of anyone being infected with one of my viruses. There's a good reason for that of course.
Which VX E-zine do you like to most? Which the least?
I have no favourite.
Which individual or what group do you like/respect in the VX world?
I respect all those who helped me make VLAD what it is. An individual I would like to mention is Clinton Haines (Harry McBungus, Terminator Z etc) who pretty much started it all off for me. He was and is a legend in my eyes.
In the AV world?
I guess I respect Mikko Hyponnen (Hermanni) for lasting as long as he did on #antivirus what with all the lameness he was subjected to. haha.
Which individual or what group do you like/respect outside the VX or the AV world?
What is your view on destructive payloads in viruses?
I've never agreed with destructive payloads. The data destroyed could be yours.
Do you think there is such a thing as a 'good' virus?
I don't believe there is anything beneficial in being infected.
What do you do in 'real' life?
At this point in time, not very much at all.
Do people outside the VX scene know what you do (parents, girlfriend etc.)?
Yeah, my parents have always been very supportive of my underground activities. Being children of the 60s they know what it is to rebel. My friends know of VLAD and no one has any problems with my involvement.
Do you do other computer stuff outside VX (Hacking, phreaking, warez etc.)?
Not these days, I've mellowed out somewhat and spend most of my time trying to write music and stuff.
Should viruses be illegal? Is there a difference between creation and spreading?
No, viruses shouldn't be illegal. Everyone has the right to code whatever they want on their own computer.
There is indeed a difference between creation and spreading. Anyone with an assembler and source (or binary) can spread a virus. It takes time and effort to create a virus.
Describe the perfect virus.
There can never be a perfect virus. As operating systems and architecture change there will always be new challenges and problems with old viruses.
What is your view on Windows (95)
Microsoft may as well have advertised for people to infect it.
What is your advice for people just starting out?
Read as much as you can, and aim to progress to win95 and beyond. Don't let the bitterness of some people embedded in the VX scene annoy you. If you'd been asked for the VCL password as many times as most have, you'd be pissed off too.
Where can you be reached if at all?
Quantum, Qark, Rhincewind (earth to Rhince!@#), Darkman, Antigen, Automag, NCL, Coke, Retch, Sepultura, Lookout Man, Memory Lapse, Priest, The Unforgiven, Blonde, Galar, Halflife, Crypt Keeper, Ripmax, Rod Fewster, Dark Angel, TheFloyd, Gatton, h0ly, Diceman, Subcube, Shaman, Levski, Absolute Overlord, Rebyc, BadSpirit, Digital Dreamer, db70, Chris Maddock, Omega Rilo, The Attitude Adjuster, Kryptik, Metal Militia, Shadseek, Nimrood and everyone else I've come in contact with.
Any other comments?
Short responses to the following names or words:
Has VLAD really stopped / retired?
Technically, VLAD has disbanded. There are still a few of us who hang onto the title however.
Are you personally still "involved" in the VX scene?
I pretty much write one virus a year just for old times sake. Under a different handle though.
What is in your future and the future of VLAD?
My future? If I knew that I'd be a lot happier person. As for VLAD, I really can't say. There are plans for an issue in 50 years or so but don't hold your breath.
How would you describe your VX past experiences?
It was fun, and at times annoying. I spent too much time immersed in the "scene" while neglecting to get on with anything else in life. But I believe I have been a part of something I can be proud of. Which is all I really wanted.