School for Hackers

The Love Bug's Manila birthplace is just one of many Third World virus breeding grounds

When Onel de Guzman's thesis proposal, titled "E-mail Password Sender Trojan," was rejected by Manila's AMA Computer College in February, the thesis committee gave a distinctly nonscholarly reason. "This is illegal!" the school's dean fumed. De Guzman wanted to write a program to "steal and retrieve Internet accounts of the victim's computer," allowing people to use those stolen log-ins to access the Internet free. The response from a faculty member, scrawled in the margin of the page: "We do not produce burglars."

De Guzman never got academic credit for "E-mail Password Sender Trojan." But the proposal's mangled syntax--de Guzman described a...

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