Computer technology generally follows human activity. If humans can get sick with the common cold or the dreaded HIV-AIDS, computers can get "ill" with a virus, like in the past the all-too-familiar I Love You virus (notably of Philippine ingenuity--or notoriety?) and, quite recently, Stuxnet. The US and Israel's Mossad (its national intelligence agency) face allegations that they are responsible for introducing Stuxnet which infected Iranian computers. The conspiracy theory goes that it is directed to sabotage Iran's nuclear power ambitions.
While man's pathology has been largely a function of natural evolution and accident (I would suppose), computer malware like viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, among others are products of man's destructive imagination. Sometimes I even wonder: if anti-virus software developers earn a living, cannot they easily but stealthily create the need for it by creating and spreading out viruses? Regardless of who makes them, their destructive potential can cause countless blown-up computers, millions of dollars, and even unfinished theses (and probably delayed graduation).
RA 8792 or the Philippine E-Commerce Law penalizes the introduction of viruses with a fine commensurate to the amount of damage caused, plus mandatory imprisonment of 6 months to 3 years (Sec. 33). If anyone has been convicted of this provision, I'm not aware of that. But I do think we must put the law into good use so that our computers will not be compromised and our stored data will not be corrupted. Else, we run the risk of simply letting computer wizards-cum-cyber criminals go scot free. And we're left with the sad plight of desperately trying to cure our computers. I say, vigilance is the key.
Image credit: cartoonspot.com
Richmund C. Sta. Lucia, Post#16