Members of Cult of The Dead Cow (cDc), who label themselves as a "technology activist group," announced that one of their Web sites, Offensive Computing, now includes a new malware library.

Announced at the DefCon 14 conference in Las Vegas, the library currently contains over 31,600 viruses, rootkits, bots, spyware, worms, Trojans, and other malware. cDc said the purpose of the library is to allow people to identify unknown forms of malware that they've captured and to obtain information on the malware, such as an analysis of how it operates.

cDc thinks that the benefits of openly sharing malware samples will outweigh the dangers of making malware readily available. During the presentation cDc said that the commercial antivirus market is "very elitist" and that vendors horde collections of malware, which sometimes prevents analysis by independent researchers. "Open analysis and collaboration are key to effectively fighting malware,” said a cDc member Val Smith.

The library is open to anyone for uploading and downloading malware samples along with related analysis reports.