The cybergangs have names like 29A, Metaphase, YAM (Youth Against McAfee) and Phalcon Skism (Smart Kids Into Sick Methods). The gangs give the adolescents a sense of belonging and help raise their esteem," explains Mr Cluley.
Many do it for the technical challenge, although it is actually extremely easy to write a virus, and does not require a genius IQ, Mr Cluley says. They will often write something then prove to themselves it can work, it's like a scoring thing. "Others have even claimed that viruses are an art and a form of expression, and should not be stopped. The anti-virus community chooses to express its freedom by ignoring that argument," he argues. Most do it impress their mates, according to Mr Cluley, and have similar motives to "vandals". Why would someone graffiti or break a perfectly innocent window?