"Sir Dystic" -- the hacker behind the original BackOrifice program released at last year's DEF CON -- plans to release two other programs in the coming weeks.
The first, dubbed CDC Protector, is intended to block viruses and so-called Trojan Horse programs from throwing a monkey wrench into the computerised works of users that may not know better. "Windows hides far too much of what is going on," said the laid-back programmer from the CDC's suite at DEF CON 7. "Now, the user is going to have the option of not screwing themselves over." The software will allow users to run applications in the equivalent of a padded cell. If anything out of the ordinary happens, the computer notifies the user. So, if that latest e-greeting card sent by a friend gets ready to erase a computer's hard drive, the user will get one last chance to stop it.
"The combination of this and the signature scanning (done by today's anti-virus software) will be better than either program alone," said Sir Dystic.
For the truly curious, Sir Dystic intends to release a second program, tentatively called CDC System Monitor. The application will log the activity of each program on the system, enabling users to monitor exactly what a program does. "This will let users scrutinise what is actually going on in programs," said the programmer. "Most software vendors aren't going to be happy about that." His hope: That knowledgeable users will enforce better quality on software vendors.
Both applications will be free and available from the CDC's Web site. One caveat, of course: CDC is a group of hackers; all software should be used at your own risk.