Interview with Griyo
by IKX
[May 1998]

Here comes an interview with Griyo of the spanish VX group 29A that recently completed the second issue of their zine. Keep on reading and a big good luck to Griyo and 29A!

Hehe, Xine readers. Are you ready to rock? Yea? Well, you're in the wrong place :) [ got from some Smashing Pumpkins concert ;) ] So, let's start GriYo, say "Hi" to our readers!

Greetings to all the readers from Spain!!! I hope you'll enjoy this mag just as me or even more ;)

Ok, the big stuff is done ;) now as usual before going to tech stuff let's talk a little about the "normal" stuff :) Well, introduce yourself! Who you are and what do you do all the day long?

After having finished the boring career about management computing my ass has found a place in a well-known Spanish enterprise. I spend about 10 hours every day in front of a screen, I'll eventually need to wear glasses :P

Why did you choose this nickname? Have you used others in the past?

The handle "GriYo" is the optimized version of the word "grillo", which in Spanish means "cricket"... a friend of mine called me like that, he said I was similar to a character we call "Pepito Grillo" in Spain... Pinocchio's mate. Since then I haven't been able to get rid of that nickname!

I haven't ever used any other aliases.

Our readers are asking for your photo, but it would take too much place :) So describe a little yourself: the physical and psychical side (errr, a photo about this second one would be hard to get anyway).

I'm 25, my height is 1.82 and my weight is 65 kilos... i have dark hair and my foot size is 42 in Spain... just get an idea ;)

Are you religious? Do you still believe in justice? Should I punish every bad guy in the name of Sailor Moon? :)

Mmmm... I believe in God but I ain't a religious person... in my opinion religion has very positive aspects, such as making good things, loving each other, and all that stuff... but always without reaching fanatism, it drives people to do terrible things. Religious fanatism is absolutely the worse.

Justice? I haven't met it too often... I think we don't know each other well enough.

What about your hobbyes? Do you like some particullar kind of music, video, theater, book, sport maybe?

Music is one of my favorite hobbies... on weekend I work as deejay in a disco in Madrid... I like especially house, trip-hop and some techno. POP music ain't usually my kind... nor PUSH ;)

Do you have a girlfriend/wife?

Sure, I do... a lovely ecuatorian girl...

Do you have any special predefined goals in your life you would like to complete? (of course at the actual moment)

No, I actually do everything I want to, or at least so I try... all my short-term goals are under development...

Is there some other place where you should like to live or stay for a while?

I'm in love with Amsterdam... I'd like to live there for a while...

Ok, so let's start moving to the less general questions. When and how did you started with computers? When and how with viruses?

I started in this world when I was 8... in that moment we were living the 8-bit personal computer (such as Spectrum, Amstrad and MSX) boom. I learnt to code in the assembly language for those machines while cracking. I used to unprotect those games which included a turbo load so that it'd be easy to copy them... and then we used to sell them out in the so-called "rastro" in Madrid, some kind of a fleatmarket where software pirates used to earn a lot of money. Little by little I started getting into the game coding world... I worked for a lot of leading Spanish companies in this sector, but then university sucked out all the time I could spend on this.

Why do you write viruses? Shouldn't we virus writers do something else, like write infinite do-nothing loops, like at Micro$oft? :)

The sucking educational system we have in Spain made impossible to me to study what I really was interested in... my intention was to study system computing. I was forced to study management computing instead... so many time coding stupid such applications (in which you can't do anything besides "discharges, charges, modifications and consultations") drove me to love writing viruses in my free time... i need my daily dose of system computing... It's because of this that I don't stand anybody giving his opinion about whether it's morally good or bad that I code viruses...

Do your family/friends know about your virulent activities? Personally I hate virus writers ( O:) ), but what's their opinion about this if so? What is the opinion of your local policeman? ;)

In my family they don't know shit because for them a computer is something which appears in sci-fi movies... about my friends, some of the closest know, some of them even do the same or spend their free time in something similar, such as democoding or hacking... About the rest, I don't hope they understand it, so I prefer not to tell them...

In which programming languages can you code? Which do you prefeer and why?

I can code in any programming language under the sun... In my opinion, learning a language is a two-day long thing and a little of practice. Once you're good in what we could call "software engineering", the rest is almost done. All the languages are in fact different ways of applying the same concepts. Changing from a language to other takes to me less effort than changing the background color of my text editor...
However I'll mention some of the languages I have a deep experience with: assembler (Z80, Motorola 68000 series, Intel 8086 and 80x86 families), C++, Cobol, Fortran, Pascal, Basic (Visual, Q...), SQL, Pro-C, and a lot of pseudolanguages such as Java, HTML and all that kind of shit.

My favorite languages are assembler for whatever processor and C++.

About how many viruses did you coded up to today? Which ones? Which do you like best? Have you spreaded them around or do you know if any of your spread around?

I have written 6 viruses so far:

CriCri family

- these were my first viruses, that's why I love them ;) Full-stealth polymorphic COM, EXE and floppy boot sector infectors...

Implant family

- that's the way AVers call my virus SuckSexee. This time it was a COM, EXE, SYS, HD MBR and floppy BS infector, polymorphic and full-stealth.


- when Windows VxD's appeared I wanted to make some experiments and then wrote this EXE infector which goes resident under Windows 3.1 and Windows95.


- another experiment, this time in the residency and polymorphic encryption fields.

Marburg & HPS

- you will have soon news about these two viruses... they're the result of a lot of hours developing both Win32 and 32-bit polymorphism.

I love all my sons the same way ;)

Is there a particullar type of virus you prefeer most?

Yes... there are viruses which are a full demonstration of new techs and enormous originality... but that's not enough... every decent virus should have a certain level of polymorphism and a good arsenal of retro weapons. We all know that the more complex and undetectable a technique you use in a virus is, the more probable is to find some incompatibilities. But this doesn't happen in made-to-measure viruses, they're my favorite ones and I could say they're my speciality... viruses especifically designed to attack a given system or net, real logical weapons...

Which other viruses written by other guys do you like most?

I have to admit that in a lot of times I felt astonished because of the creations of some of the scene mates... sometimes due to their originality (we were accustomed to this with VLAD), sometimes due to the quality of the code or the implementation itself of the initial idea (viruses such as OneHalf or Zhengxi, or some more recent, such as Cabanas or Esperanto).
My favorite writer was Neurobasher (the author of viruses such as Neuroquila, N8Fall, AlphaStrike...), but things have changed a lot and very few of those who were great are still great.

Are you working on something actually or do you have some ideas to work on that our readers should know of? :)

New platforms offer their whole potence at the entire disposal of the average virus coder. Nowadays in 29A we're working hard in this field. Like an advance I could tell you all that Win98.HPS, which is right now in its beta phase, uses residency and polymorphism techniques never seen before. Other 29Aers are implementing as well very cool ideas we all are gonna love as soon as they're released.

Where do you get the names for your viruses?

I always call them with a name related with something which happened to me will developing them... lately i baptize my viruses which what would be their biologic equivalent (Marburg and HPS)...

What do you think about Win95/98/NT virus capabilities?

Like I said before it's an unexplored field we can take a lot of profit from. It's true that virus coding becomes more difficult in these platforms, but it is also true that the potence of the code becomes much bigger. Memory-mapping, API hooking, VxDCall hooking, Structured Exception Handling... they're just some of the powerful features Win32 provides us.

What do you think about Wordmacro viruses? Just some sorta VCL stuff or an interesting "platform"? This language has a lot of interesting features to offer, but it is also very lamer-compatible as we can see from the abnormous number of variants (apart from the M$Word generated ones) going around. What do you think?

I haven't had neither the time nor the interest necessary to get in the macro stuff... the infectious capabilities of this viruses is obvious... but the solution is simple, not to use Microsoft Word... a PC may work without Word, but never without an operating system.

What about poly engines? Which one (if any) do you like best? What about the future of polymorphism, both in implementation (going to Win) and in concept (slow poly, evolving poly and such)?

Polymorphism is necessary. The least it can do is to delay the time needed to write a detection/disinfection routine. In a friendship chat with some Spanish AV company we had the chance to know their way to act against polymorphic viruses:

"We write a routine for detection, but not for cleaning, it's a mess to extract the necessary information to disinfect a file if this information is encrypted under a polymorphic algorithm".

Anything helping viruses to survive is welcome. Besides, if we add techniques such as slow mutation, the thing becomes much more difficult and helps us in order to get our objective.

What about virus generators? Writing one should be a good learning exercise, shouldn't it? Maybe without releasing it to irresponsable lamers it should be viable, or not?

Lemme tell ya my view on this...
In the virus scene there are three kinds of niggas... in one side we have the so-called "gurus", who mean the real "danger"...
Later we have the classical "smart dudes", who are able to update rapidly their knowledge after having read sources and/or articles. And the last kind is the scum... people whose intention doesn't go further than grabbing a virus and then changing a string to insert their nickname and say "Hey look! I wrote this!".
Well, ok, virus generators belong to this last kind of VXers, and it's something the rest do not even care about.

Which documentation and tool do you keep most valuable for your virus programming?

Microsoft SDK is a big help. It is a pity these people are total idiots. I mean this because in every new release they're removing those contents Microsoft considers "dangerous"... so SDK is little by little becoming a crock of shit about JAVA and FrontPage98 ;)

What would you say to someone just starting with viruses?

If he really likes "bio-coding", go ahead, don't hesitate...

What are generally your goals in the virus writing context?

My goal is to develop powerful logical weapons. In a few years computers will be present in all the aspects of daily life, and maybe in a not so far future, "virus writer" or "hacker" might become well-paid jobs.

Who is the greater virus writer in your eyes?

That's a difficult question... even more when things have changed so much in so few time. I believe in the eternal comeback, everything is repeated and then starts again... the same happens in virus coding. After having seen multipartite polymorphic full-stealth viruses we are back in runtime infectors... at this moment there's no answer I can give to this question, I'm sorry.

When, why and how have you joined 29A? Damn, Griyo/iKX shouldn't sound better? ;))

When I developed my first virus (CriCri.4616) I still didn't know anybody in the scene. I didn't have access to the net, so I wasn't able to keep in touch with other virus writers. Mister Sandman took care of contacting me and since then I belong to 29A, where we're something like a big family. GriYo/iKX doesn't sound bad tho :P

Are you (or were you) involved also with other underground activities such as hacking, phreaking or something else? What do you think about that scenes?

Since some time ago I've started getting into the hacking world... the scene in this field is similar to the virus scene... a chain of fools ;)

How are your contacts with guys of other virus groups?

I know some members of other groups only by IRC... I don't use to have bad relationships with anybody...

Have you met personally other virus writers? Describe to our readers the first impact :)

In 29A we have the custom to meet in person very often... the first impression was very good, we spent hours and hours talking about a lot of things and I really enjoyed it...

AVers, media, psycoanalysts and all kind of ppl are blatering about the "virus writer typo". Try to describe, on your personal experience, the "tipical virus-writer"!

When I started coding viruses I also thought there could exist a pattern of virus writer, but experience has proved this isn't right at all... I haven't met so far two virus writers with anything a bit similar to each other... when you meet other VXers on IRC you may think you both are similar, as you have common hobbies and preferences... when you meet them in person you suddenly realise that any similarity is pure coincidence.
I have read somewhere the stupidities of some AVer on this, and they were stating a pattern corresponding to a frustrated person and a lot of foolishnesses more... well, we're accustomed enough to see these guys saying stupid things, so there's nothing to worry about... if you don't believe me, just go to alt.comp.virus and read some messages...

But, be sincere, at the end of all we VWers are a little crazy, don't you think? :)

For sure, anybody not being crazy has just stopped dreaming...

What do you think about the current VX scene worldwide? How it is and how it should change in your opinion in the future?

The works of some works has steamed up because of the non-sense seek of protagonism of their leaders. Virus groups should have a better hierarchycal organization and do things with more proffesionality, if they're really trying to be something more than a bunch of dumbs in the cyberspace. It is also necessary to put everything in its right place... there's always somebody trying to change this... ;)

How is evolving the VX scene in Spain?

Spain is in its way to become a virus developing potence... but we still need some more time...

Erm, now a little space for the AVers. Which antivirus do you like best and which you most hate?

AVP is my favorite antivirus, because of the hard work they seem to put in it, albeit lately they're lying somewhere... we'll have to wake them up with our viruses.

The antivirus I hate most is McAfee's Scan, because it's the one which deceives most its users... for some reason it got some years ago a comfortable situation in the market, and it hasn't improved any aspect since then, it's completely obsolete.

Which AVers (if any) do you respect most and which (if any) do you disrespect? Do you have any kind of contacts with AV guys (apart from being blamed from them and blaming them)?

Bah! I don't know those people, I ain't giving my opinion on them...

Would you accept a good payed job from an AV house (supposing they don't know about your VW activities)? If yes: wouldn't you feel immoral by doing so? If not: why not? Anyway viruses is what you like so you should work on them (from the other side) a lot of hours at week and being payed for doing so :)

I wouldn't have any problem on coding for an antivirus enterprise. Feeling immoral? no way, I'm a coder and I sell my ass for those who offer the best wage... soccer players act the same way and nobody tells them it's immoral to change their team... besides, cosindering immoral a coder because of the kind of software he develops seems a big stupidity to me...

What do you think in general about the actual computer and, more precisely, the software industry? What's on? Should the world fall under the shit Billgatus and such ppl are triing to send all over the world? :)

Luckily it seems that we're experiencing a big pull in world's technologyc development, I hope that things which seemed possible only in Philip K.Dick's imagination will turn real soon.

I don't see any problem on Microsoft creating a monopoly in world computing... that way it'd be easier to "break" in any kind of system and a very funny anarchy would rule X-DDDDDDD

Should virus writing be illegal? And virus spreading should be illegal? As far as I can see, the bigger part of infections are carried by warez, so shouldn't the lamers that get infected just shut up and silently die if they are trading copyed software and don't even know how to analyze manually an executable? ;)

It is funny to see AVers themselves defending the attitude of forbidding virus coding and distribution... they want to ban what is actually feeding them, hehehe, I'm sorry for my laughs but I can't believe it...

But the thing is... I don't care a fuck, being it forbidden or not I will keep on doing it. Who are they to tell me what I can code and what I can't? if I arrive home by night and I feel like to have a cup of tea while writing a polymorphic engine... who can forbid that to me?
It'd be something like forbidding masturbation... hahahahahaha.

What about the censorship of Internet?

Is there any censorship in Internet?!?!?!? hahahaha, I hadn't realised yet... ;)

Imagine you have really bad, bad, bad luck man, sorry but such is life... :) just three choices, which would you select and why:

  1. spend the rest of your days (!) in an AV company as a phone calls receiver (!!) where you should have to interact all the day long with lamers asking and describing you all kind of impossible problems on their PCs and of course also have a lot of contacts with Dr.Boza, Solly, MC-Cafe and such like.
  2. stay isolated for a week with Patty Hoffman, just on your own. Ah, not just this, I forget to tell she is still researching if the words that circulated in a.c.v about the "computer virus can infect humans" are truth. Since you "generate" viruses and genetics aren't just an opinion...... hehe, you know what she wants :)
  3. stay at a 45 days full time (this means you will do what you'll heard, indipendently what your brain will try to do :) ) stage of virus writing. Ah, yep, Ratboy and the YAM staff will direct the lectures.
  4. Who is RatBoy? what is YAM? should I know them? ;) Well, option 3 is my favorite one, if I see that RatBoy bugging around too much, i'll kill them ;)

Final question, I must do this one (even if it should be (C) by Sep :) ): Are you elite?

I don't know whether I am or not, but I really try to ;)

Hey, by answering these questions you won a totally free space on our zine! Enjoy writing whatever you want after this question. :) Thanx again man and good luck! :)

Well, good luck for you too, it has been a pleasure to share this space in your magazine... :)