Can Malware Do Good?

Rather than doing harm, new malware Linux.Wifatch has actually infected and upgraded the security in 10,000+ routers. It even prompts users to update weak passwords. But is it totally above board or is there more going on?

Malware and hackers doing bad things has been all over the new lately, from yesterdays reveal about potential vulnerabilities in medical hardware, to Apple's recent bout with malware or the Ashley Madison hack.

The Linux.Wifatch malware takes a unique approach, and targets unsecured WiFi routers before blocking a potential backdoor access vulnerability that could give other exploits access to a network. It also warns about malicious activity and resets any default passwords.

Which all sounds pretty good - except that the malware does contain its own backdoors that could give the creator access to infected hardware.

Digital security company Symantec has had it’s eye on Linux.Wifatch since the start of the year, though the code was actually discovered back in late 2014. So far it has not been observed performing any malicious acts, but its future potential is unknown.

Hacking routers for “good” is certainly a nice idea, but I know I wouldn’t want it on any of my hardware. But at the same time, I ok with the idea of other unsecured hardware out there being made a little more secure, despite the unknown risks. And really, no one should have a default password or old firmware on their routers these days.

What do you think - is the malware good or bad? Tell us in the comments.

[KitGuru] [Reddit]