Building a Better Virus Trap

Loraine Lawson

What if you could get better virus protection that lead to fewer updates and patches? How much would that be worth to your company?


Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a prototype system that would do just that, according to


The theory behind the prototype is simple: Watch a virus and see what it does to your computer or system. Put that information in a database to create a fingerprint for the virus.


Conventional antivirus software works by searching for odd behaviors on a computer and checking for known virus signatures -- or chunks of code.


The prototype tested well against traditional products. reports it found at least 10 percent more of the sample viruses than other AV software and it correctly linked variants of the viruses. By comparison, traditional antivirus software spotted only 68 percent of the variants.


One researcher quoted in the article wondered about the prototype's rate of false positives. Good question. Personally, I'd like to know how many "activities" the virus can get away with before the software catches it?

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