|Birth Place||The Netherlands|
Masud Khafir is a virus coder from the Netherlands. He was associated with the Dutch TridenT group and coded a number of trailblazing viruses, including the first Windows virus and a virus that compresses the files it infects.
Masud Khafir began programming before he had his first computer, a Commodore 64, which he received about 7 years before he became active in the VX scene. He got involved in spring of 1991 and joined the group TridenT.
He took interest in viruses when he received a virus from a friend and disassembled it. Reading about viruses on Fidonet led him to Todor Todorov's Virus eXchange BBS. He joined the scene after calling the BBS a few times.
His first virus was Gotcha, so named because it displayed the text "GOTCHA!" on the screen when an infected file was executed. Another virus he coded early in his career was Pogue, using the Dark Avenger Mutation Engine. A year later, he coded his own engine, the TridenT Polymorphic Engine. He left the scene after about 4 years of coding viruses, as he was no longer as interested in them.
Masud Khafir takes his name from one common Arabic name and another from an (mostly offensive) offensive word that he thought had an interesting history. Masud (one of many possible transliterations of the Arabic name مسعود) is a common name meaning "prosperous" or "happy". He took the name from a few different rebels he admired, particularly Massoud Barzani, now president of Iraqi Kurdistan as well as Iranian dissident Masud Rajavi.
Khafir, which also can be transliterated in a number of different ways from كافر, is the word for "infidel", however it has made it into other languages with different meanings. In South Africa, it is the equivalent of the word "nigger", and in the Netherlands, "kaffer" means idiot.
Masud Khafir was never known to have had any trouble with the law over the coding of viruses. At the time in the Netherlands, coding viruses was not illegal, but spreading them was. He was still moderately cautious about being fallowed by law enforcement.
Masud Khafir viewed the VX scene as being too hostile to antivirus companies and researchers and preferred to view them as opponents rather than enemies. He believed that sort of thinking lead to the belief that the VX scene was made of people with an adolescent mentality and that they were dangerous. He also never wrote destructive payloads for this reason.
For Khafir, coding viruses was the most important thing about creating them. He did however release some of his viruses. He liked the idea of his creations receiving some attention. His concern for any of his viruses possibly destroying computers at a hospital kept him from writing destructive code.
Viruses and engines
- Little Brother
- TridenT Polymorphic Engine
TridenT, Interview with Masud Khafir.
M. muthafuckin' K. The virus career of Masud Khafir.