Writing Viruses for Fun, not Profit


Going viral hasn't always been considered good. Whether you're fighting the common cold, or trying to remove the ILOVEYOU computer worm from your corporate file server, two things are certain: your immune system is based on your gut health, and computers have really poor gut health.

Stopping viruses is hard. The main reason for this is that viruses are really clever. They've evolved over time to escape detection. Each previously detected virus allows the next iteration of the virus to become more resilient. The second reason is that your computer's gut health has to fight every virus, whereas each virus just has to find one immuno-compromised system to survive.

Let's work out how viruses hide. How to they sneak past the checkpoints. How they attach themselves to your system. How they fight detection, and removal. We'll look at aspects such as self-replication, cryptographic obfuscation, and touch on methods of delivery and infection.

Now that you're thinking like a virus writer, you can anticipate which areas of your applications need hardening. Just remember, we're doing it for good, not profit :)

This presentation will feature live demos of writing PHP viruses, and infection of willing targets. The theories apply equally to many languages, so an understanding of PHP is not required.


A really fun talk that was engaging and saw into the mind of people out to hurt us. Anthony Ferrara
By far one of the most interesting and enjoyable talks I ever seen. The presentation was dynamic, coding on stage and explaining the concepts. It was really great. Sebastian Machuca
I really enjoyed your talk; it was the stand-out presentation of the conference! — DDD Melbourne Attendee
Very engaging presentation with its live demo, humour and interesting topic. It is always good to learn about things that aren’t always discussed openly. James Gordon
Image for

Previously Presented At

Codemotion Rome 2019
Starts: 22 Mar 2019
Ends: 23 Mar 2019
Codemotion is the biggest tech conference in Italy and one of the most important in Europe, with a network of more than 30k developers.
Where: Rome, Italy
PHP Conference Asia
Starts: 28 Sep 2018
Where: Singapore
International PHP Conference
Starts: 6 Jun 2018
Where: Berlin, Germany
Starts: 7 Feb 2018
Where: Montreal, Canada
Developer Developer Developer Conference
Starts: 12 Aug 2017
Where: Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne PHP Users Group
Starts: 18 Jul 2017
Where: Melbourne, Australia
Dutch PHP Conference
Starts: 30 Jun 2017
Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Open Source Developers’ Conference
Starts: 27 Oct 2015
Where: Hobart, Australia
New Zealand PHP Conference
Starts: 3 Sep 2015
Where: Wellington, New Zealand
Melbourne PHP Users Group
Starts: 16 Jun 2015
Where: Melbourne, Australia
PHP Australia Conference
Starts: 12 Mar 2015
Where: Sydney, Australia

Subscribe to my Newsletter

* indicates a required field

I don't send many updates. I don't like to spam. Let's face it - I've not posted many new articles for a while (although I do plan on changing that). If you subscribe to new articles, I'll send no more than two emails a week. As for workshop and conference information, that'll be as and when I have details. It's not likely to be more than an email a week.