Worms and Trojan Horses
Worms and Trojan Horses
Worms and Trojan horses are both categorized as malware programs launched in a given network system like internet or cell phones’ networks, with the prime purpose of corrupting the target system (Pfleeger, & Shari, 2011). Worms act as malware through replication practices that subsequently lead to an override thereby creating problems on the victimized system. Worms are able to replicate through various channels like disk drives or electronic messages. Once the reproduction reaches a given level, a system is affected through improper functioning. In an extreme instance, a worm may lead to the crash of a program or the affected device (Pfleeger, & Shari, 2011). Worms are analogous to viruses in terms of both the replication factor and the effects, but the divergence between the two is noted by the fact that viruses can only spread between computers through user assistance yet worms achieve the same devoid of any aid.
Trojan horses on the other hand are a form of malware that cannot reproduce or affix itself to other programs (Pfleeger, & Shari, 2011). In fact, most Trojan horses have to be introduced to a given system from an outside source and then accepted within the target computer as a program for the initiation of the malware practice. Trojan horses achieve their purpose by causing user aggravation through actions such as altering the arrangement and items on the desktop or by introducing other unconstructive images on the desktop. In addition to this, Trojan horses may lead to severe issues like erasing of data. All Trojan horses institute a backdoor within a computer that is utilized by other forms of malware such as viruses and worms as a form of entrance into the target computer. A backdoor therefore acts as the most destructive aspect of a Trojan horse (Pfleeger, & Shari, 2011).
Kantian ethics are founded on duty, with morality attached to practices that are only considered as bearing good will, as opposed to an individual’s feelings, which are always unpredictable (Hinman, 2007). Therefore, in analyzing the ethics of a given action, Kantianism proposes a two-step assessment before an action is executed. First, an individual must consider whether he/she would permit all individuals in the world in executing the give action. Secondly, an individual must assess whether the given action enhances collective goals by considering other individuals. If in the first instance the response is negative and in the second instance the response is an egotistic goal, then the action should not be executed. Applying this framework to Morris’ action would make it (the action) unethical. On the first question, Morris being a computer science student possessed the knowledge to realize the threat imposed by worms on a given system.
Morris admits that during the designing of mischievous programs prior to the worm project, he introspectively comprehended the fact that it was wrong. Additionally, Morris admits that while designing the malware, he purposely fashioned it not to cause damage or distort information. The given thought patterns are related to Morris’ knowledge of the destructive capability and therefore, rationally he would not permit other individuals to perform such hazardous actions (Hinman, 2007). With regard to the second question, it is evident that Morris performed the given action for his sake; he describes that his actions were always subjective since they made him thrilled.
Utilitarian ethics assess the morality of a given action on the outcome of said action. An ethical decision is therefore one that optimizes happiness or goodness within a given populace or the affected part of the populace (Hinman, 2007). If an individual realizes that goodness is only noted subjectively or in a minority of the populace, then the action should be foregone. In Morris’ instance, the program pranks accorded pleasure to him alone whereas the other individuals had to suffer or be irritated by the same. Therefore, the action should not have been executed at all since it was unethical.
Hinman, L. M. (2007). Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory. Independence, KY: Cengage Learning.
Pfleeger, C. P., & Shari, L. P. (2011). Analyzing Computer Security: A Threat / Vulnerability / Countermeasure Approach. Denver, CO: Prentice Hall Professional.