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Female virus writer didn't do it for "girl power"

"I ain't in this for your revolution, and I'm not in it for you, Princess..."

By Joey Gardiner

Published: Wednesday 6 March 2002

The girl behind the Sharpei virus has hit back at media reports she was motivated by a desire to further "girl power".

The Sharpei virus is the first virus to be written in Microsoft's new C# language, and the author says she resents that all the publicity around it focused on the fact she is female.

The author - a 17 year-old Belgian known by her pseudonym Gigabyte - told via email: "Writing Sharp to fight against sexism? Girl power? heh... As if I'd bother. It's not on me to stand up for female's in the computer world, that's something everyone's gotta do for themselves."

She said she had written the code out of curiosity to write in a language that hadn't been used for viruses before.

"Also, if these were my reasons, I would've mentioned something about sexism in the virus itself, right? Right."

She also defended the ethics of her position: "for those outta there who think I'm out to do harm: My viruses ain't destructive, especially not this one."

Gigabyte is also thought to be behind other viruses including Logo.Logic, Buffy and Scrambler.

Gigabyte seems to have taken particular exception to the comments of Sophos virus expert Graham Cluley, whom she refers to somewhat unkindly on her website.

Cluley said today: "I would never say that women can't code. All I have said is that the vast majority of virus writers are male, mainly because women grow up earlier, and seem to have better things to do with their time.

He added: "I appreciate the concern of the virus community and Gigabyte particularly into my general health. Perhaps if I had to spend less time on the phone answering queries from customers hit by viruses I would have more time to exercise."

Gigabyte's home page can be found at

For more information on the Sharpei virus contact your anti-virus vendor.

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