Article in Newsweek about year ago describeed a controversial computer-security class at Sonoma State University. It is a course on how to make computer viruses and how to penetrate even best antivirus software. Teacher insists that his students mean no harm, and that he is trying to teach students to think like hackers so they can devise antidotes. "You ca not really have defense plan if you do not know what other guy's offense is," he says.
Companies which make their living fighting viruses are not happy about what is going on in this class. Some computer-security companies have even vowed not to hire any student which takes this course. In sense the syllabus is veiled attack on McAfee, Symantec, and other antivirus software companies, which teacher sees as mostly useless: "If college students can beat these antivirus programs, he argues, what good are they for people and businesses spending nearly $5 billion year on them?"
Teacher hopes that his students will put what they learn in his course to good use; of course, how students will use their knowledge once they leave classroom is beyond his control.
Is offering a college course on how to make computer viruses and other "malware" morally justified? Persuasively defend your answer by drawing upon suitable theories and concepts you have studied during this course.