Master By Project: Exploration

Developing ideas is progressing as more exploration and investigation is taking into the chosen area of virus’s, hosts and technological-biological interplay. Exploring biological and physical viruses I have been investigating different viral diseases which critical endanger humans. They are ranked in order of the most critical to the host.

Ebola (1st)

  • five known Ebola viral strains cause Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), which has killed thousands of people in sub-Saharan African nations since its discovery in 1976.
  • The deadly virus is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where it was first reported and classified as a CDC Biosafety Level 4 making it one of the most dangerous pathogens on the planet.
  • Spread through close contact with bodily secretions. EHF has a 50 to 90 percent mortality rate, with a rapid onset of symptoms
  • Start with a headache and sore throat and progress to major internal and external bleeding and multiple organ failures.
  • There’s no known cure, and the most recent cases were reported at the end of 2012 in Uganda.

Marburg (2nd)

  • 1967, a group of lab workers in Germany (Marburg and Frankfurt) and Serbia (then Yugoslavia) contracted a new type of hemorrhagic fever from some virus-carrying African green monkeys that had been imported for research and development of polio vaccines.
  • The Marburg virus is BSL-4. Marburg hemorrhagic fever has a 23 to 90 percent fatality rate.
  • Spread through close human-to-human contact, symptoms start with a headache, fever, and a rash on the trunk, and progress to multiple organ failure and massive internal bleeding.
  • There is no cure, and the latest cases were reported out of Uganda at the end of 2012. An American tourist who had explored a Ugandan cave full of fruit bats known to be reservoirs of the virus contracted it and survived in 2008. (But not before bringing his sick self back to the U.S.)


  • hantavirus is an airborne in the wake of rodents that carry the virus. Different strains, carried by different rodent species
  • hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)—first discovered during the Korean War—and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which reared its ugly head with a 1993 outbreak in the Southwestern United States.
  • Severe HFRS causes acute kidney failure, while HPS gets you by filling your lungs with fluid (edema).
  • HFRS has a mortality rate of 1 to 15 percent, while HPS is 38 percent. The U.S. saw its most recent outbreak of hantavirus—of the HPS variety—at Yosemite National Park in late 2012.


  • BSL-4 virus, Lassa is carried by a species of rat in West Africa called Mastomys. It’s airborne from rat’s fecal matter.
  • Humans, can only spread it through direct contact with bodily secretions.
  • Lassa fever, which has a 15 to 20 percent mortality rate, causes about 5000 deaths a year in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
  • It starts with a fever and some retrosternal pain (behind the chest) and can progress to facial swelling, encephalitis, mucosal bleeding and deafness.
  • Fortunately, researchers and medical professionals have found some success in treating Lassa fever with an antiviral drug in the early stages of the disease.

Rabies (5th)

  • Rabies dating back to 2300 B.C.
  • While this virus itself is a beast, the sickness it causes is now is wholly preventable if treated immediately with a series of vaccinations delivered with a needle in the abdomen.
  • Exposure to rabies these days is through bites from infected animals. If left untreated after exposure, the virus attacks the central nervous system and death usually results.
  • The symptoms of an advanced infection include delirium, hallucinations and raging, violent behaviour in some cases, which some have argued makes rabies eerily similar to zombification.
  • If rabies ever became airborne, we might actually have to prepare for that zombie apocalypse after all.

Computer Virus’s

Furthermore, I have been researching digital computer virus and their processes of infection, development and resulting damage to hosts.


  • ILOVEYOU virus is the most virulent computer virus ever created.
  • The virus managed to cause damages totalling in at an estimate of $10 billion
  • 10% of the world’s Internet-connected computers were believed to have been infected.
  • governments and large corporations took their mailing system offline to prevent infection.
  • created by two Filipino programers, Reonel Ramones and Onel de Guzman.
  • used social engineering to get people to click on the attachment; in this case, a love confession. The attachment was actually a script that poses as a TXT file. Once clicked, it will send itself to everyone in the user’s mailing list and proceed to overwrite files with itself, making the computer unbootable.
  • The two were never charged, as there were no laws about malware. This led to the enactment of the E-Commerce Law to address the problem.

CryptoLocker (new !st)

  • Released in September 2013, CryptoLocker spread through email attachments and encrypted the user’s files so that they couldn’t access them.
  • The hackers then sent a decryption key in return for a sum of money, usually somewhere from a few hundred pounds up to a couple of grand.
  • if the victims didn’t pay up they’d lose all their files. Now is a good time to remind you to always back your files up!
  • The cost of the malware: With 500,000 victims, CryptoLocker made upwards of $30 million in 100 days.

Code Red (2nd)

  • The worm targeted computers with Microsoft IIS web server. It leaves very little trace on the hard disk as it is able to run entirely on memory, with a size of 3,569 bytes.
  • Once infected, it will proceed to make a hundred copies of itself but due to a bug in the programming, it will duplicate even more and ends up eating a lot of the system’s resources.
  • launch a denial of service attack on several IP address, famous among them the website of the White House.
  • It also allows backdoor access to the server, allowing for remote access to the machine.
  • The most memorable symptom is the message it leaves behind on affected web pages, “Hacked By Chinese!”, which has become a meme itself.
  • A patch was later released and it was estimated that it caused $2 billion in lost productivity.
  • A total of 1-2 million servers were affected

Melissa (3rd)

  • Created by David L. Smith in 1999.
  • Started as an infected Word document that was posted up on the usenet group, claiming to be a list of passwords for pornographic sites.
  • When it was downloaded and opened, it would trigger the macro inside and unleash its payload.
  • The virus will mail itself to the top 50 people in the user’s email address book and this caused an increase of email traffic, disrupting the email services of governments and corporations. It also sometimes corrupted documents by inserting a Simpsons reference into them.
  • Smith was eventually caught when they traced the Word document to him.
  • Smith served 20 months and paid a fine of $5000 of his 10 year sentence.
  • The virus reportedly caused $80 million in damages.

Sasser (4th)

  • Created by Sven Jaschan, who also created the Netsky worm.
  • The worm took advantage of a buffer overflow vulnerability in Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS), which controls the security policy of local accounts causing crashes to the computer. It will also use the system resources to propagate itself to other machines through the Internet and infect others automatically.
  • The effects of the virus were widespread as while the exploit was already patched, many computers haven’t updated. This led to more than a million infections, taking out critical infrastructures, such as airlines, news agencies, public transportation, hospitals, public transport, etc.
  • Damage was estimated to have cost $18 billion.
  • Jaschen was tried as a minor and received a 21 month suspended sentence.

Zeus (5th)

  • Zeus is a Trojan horse that will perform various criminal tasks.
  • The most common of these tasks are usually man-in-the-browser keylogging and form grabbing.
  • The majority of computers were infected either through drive-by downloads or phishing scams.
  • Identified in 2009, it managed to compromise thousands of FTP accounts and computers from large multinational corporations and banks such as Amazon, Oracle, Bank of America, Cisco, etc.
  • Controllers of the Zeus botnet used it to steal the login credentials of social network, email and banking accounts.
  • In the US alone, it was estimated that more than 1 million computers were infected, with 25% in the US.

Installation Concepting

Working on developing ideas through iterations of a previous post, developing as discussed ideas concepts works have progressed. Worksheet designs and further exploration have begun to draw together ideas and deeper points of exploration. Some interesting work on structures to project onto and ways of doing so have been fruitful as seen from the designs and test below.



Installation Testing