A Virus Generator is a program that creates a virus or worm automatically. They make it possible for people who have little knowledge of viruses or even computers to create viruses. As early viruses were almost entirely coded in Assembly, it was near impossible for someone to create a virus without having a long time of experience with computers.
Typically the generators have a menu or window interface, as people using them are unwilling or unable to learn how to create their own viruses, they may also be unwilling to use a command-line interface. The user can pull down drop-down menus or tick boxes for certain features.
They often give the user options for what goes into the virus. Some simple generators may only allow the user to specify a text to display on execution. Other more complex ones may allow the user to specify how the user wants the virus to spread, what type of files to infect, or whether they want the virus to have polymorphic, stealth or anti-antivirus capabilities.
The first virus generator was the Virus Construction Set (VCS). It was created in Germany in 1990 by the Verband Deutscher Virenliebhaber (Association of German Virus Lovers). VCS allowed the user to specify what message the virus would display and how often.
Another notable virus generator was the Virus Creation Laboratory (VCL), from the United States, created in 1992. It generated assembly code for viruses and had many more options than previous generators. In the same year, another American group created the Phalcon-Skism Mass-Produced Code Generator (PS-MPC). More than 15,000 PS-MPC variants have been reported by antivirus companies.
One of the most famous generators was VBS Worm Generator, created by Argentinian virus creator Kalamar. Although this generator was known for producing mostly broken and intended code, it ironically spawned the very successful Kournikova email worm.
Notable Virus Generators:
- Virus Construction Set
- Virus Creation Laboratory
- Phalcon-Skism Mass-Produced Code Generator
- Next Generation Virus Creation Kit
- VBS Worm Generator
Peter Szor. The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense, Chapter 2, 2.3.12 Kits (Virus Generators). Pp. 34-35; Chapter 7, 7.7 Virus Construction Kits. Pp. 288-293. Addison Wesley, Symantec Press: Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2005. ISBN: 0321304543