: Fine, very nice dissetation. But my question is still; "What is it about causing problems for others, innocent people, that is so attractive to some?"
Simply speaking: power.
To have superiority over somebody else's data is to have power over them; and some people get a kick from abusing the power they have; that's as true in the computing world as it is in the physical one.
: It's apparently a huge problem because tiger teams and samurai teams are needed to check out new programs.
: OK, that's nice to know.
You might want to check the news on the Bubbleboy virus which has surfaced this morning (9/11/99) - apart from the fact that it's written in Visual Basic, not Java, it's exactly the type of worm I predicted a month ago. In this case it's benign; it contains nothing actually harmful; merely annoying in that it screws with the OS registry and mails itself to everyone in your address book. But this will happen more; the knowledge is out there. We can expect some really nasty viruses to hit the 'net soon.
: But what is it that makes a person want to screw up somebody's life? I mean, do these people get some kind of reward for doing it? Is it just a psychological thing? Isn't it really a juvenile thing to do? I don't know.
No more juvenile than any other action based on superior power and nothing else; and those sort of actions dominate our world.
: It's sort of like garage mechanics, unscrupoulus garage mechanics taking advantage of females who know zilch point shit about mechanics.
Why do they do it? Because they get a return from doing it. It's the profit motive; as Gee will point out; in the case of a script kiddy, they derive "profit" from boosting their own egos; even if it's not a fiscal profit.