Computer viruses have come a long way from the early days of personal
computers, when teenage hackers competed for bragging rights, creating
malware designed for mischief or random mayhem. Now, the hackers have
gone professional, and their ambitions have grown; rather than amateurs
working out of their parents' basement, malware creators are often part
of an underworld criminal gang, or working directly for a foreign
government or intelligence agency. As the stakes have grown, so too has
the potential damage and destruction brought on by malware.