Scientists work on peer-to-peer security

Israeli scientists are working on a new method of distributing antivirus patches so that they reach computers before the virus does.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University are examining ways of creating a network of shortcuts hidden in the Internet and only accessible to antivirus applications.

The system would rely on ‘honeypot’ computers that lie in wait for viruses, worms, trojans and other malicious code. When a new infection is detected these computers would instantly notify other computers and equip them with the necessary information to block it.

The proposed shortcuts would ensure that this information arrives before the malicious code. The researchers’ simulation shows that 800,000 honeypots among the 200 million computers in the US could restrict a new virus to just 2,000 machines.

‘The software companies just regard the Internet as a sophisticated FedEx service,’ explained the research team’s Eran Shir. ‘Our focus is to immunise the whole network, not to clean individual computers or fix what is already broken.’

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