Software restores itself after infection by computer virus




Researchers at University of Utah have written security software that can recognize infections of unknown viruses and then can repair the damage. The software reportedly knew to deal with the known Shellshock bug within minutes.

The software is called A3 and running in a virtual machine. A3, an abbreviation of Advanced Adaptive Applications, comprises several debuggers that run simultaneously on top of each other. The programs monitor each other and the virtual machine, look for abnormal activities on the machine. A3 intervenes when something is not right.

The security works differently than regular anti-virus software, so the researchers claim. A3 so can detect new and unknown viruses by debuggers automatically when something happens to the computer that is not on the hook. Then A3 can stop the malware, restore the software and “learn” to allow the malware ever. Most traditional virus scanners, although also use a heuristic scanning method, but shall use no debuggers. With heuristic scanning can still unknown malware detected based on suspicious behavior.

A3 software developed by the University of Utah to protect Linux servers against malware. The university previously worked among others with Darpa, the research institute of the US Department of Defense. The development process took four years and only the software was first demonstrated in September, so this week it was announced.

The first results seem encouraging, writes among other based on the information from the American University. The package did at a demonstration at Darpa in September reportedly then newly Bash security issue Shellshock recognize immediately. Moreover, the software was restored within four minutes of the attack, as the researchers claim. By Shellshock could own malicious code into a so-called environment variable stop, after which the code is executed once the system initiates a bash session.

For the time being no actual applications, there are developed on the basis of A3. There are no plans for the software home computers and laptops, which is released as open source, to provide. The researchers, this not only to rule out in the future. They say here any investigation into wanting to do, but first they want to see what the software can do for large server farms, such as those from Amazon.


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