Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low-cost Strategy Developed For Curbing Computer Worms

Date:
January 14, 2009
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
A new, cost-effective strategy to limit the spread of worms through computer networks has been developed. The two-pronged plan compiles suspicious incoming activity from the network's computers to create an early-warning system for worm attacks. As the threat level rises and falls, an algorithm determines whether to toggle computers online or offline depending on whether the benefit of staying online outweighs the cost of worm infection, and vice versa.

Thanks to an ingenious new strategy devised by researchers at University of California, Davis and Intel Corporation, computer network administrators might soon be able to mount effective, low-cost defenses against self-propagating infectious programs known as worms.

Many computers are already equipped with software that can detect when another computer is attempting to attack it. Yet the software usually cannot identify newly-minted worms that do not share features with earlier marauders. When network managers detect suspicious activity, they face a major dilemma, said Senthil Cheetancheri, who led efforts to develop the strategy. "The question is, 'Should I shut down the network and risk losing business for a couple of hours for what could be a false alarm, or should I keep it running and risk getting infected?'"

Cheetancheri, a graduate student in the Computer Security Laboratory at UC Davis when he did the work, has shown that the conundrum can be overcome by enabling computers to share information about anomalous activity. As signals come in from other machines in the network, each computer compiles the data to continually calculate the probability that a worm attack is underway. "One suspicious activity in a network with 100 computers can't tell you much," he said. "But when you see half a dozen activities and counting, you know that something's happening."

The second part of the strategy is an algorithm that weighs the cost of a computer being disconnected from the network against the cost of it being infected by a worm. Results of this ongoing process depend on the calculated probability of an attack, and vary from computer to computer depending on what the machine is used for. The algorithm triggers a toggle to disconnect the computer whenever the cost of infection outweighs the benefit of staying online, and vice versa.

The computer used by a person working with online sales, for example, might be disconnected only when the threat of an attack is virtually certain; the benefit she provides by continuing to work during false alarms far outweighs the cost of infection. On the other hand, a computer used by a copy writer who can complete various tasks offline might disconnect whenever the probability of an attack rises above even a very low level.

The study is published in "Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection, 2008," the proceedings of a symposium that was held in Cambridge, Mass., in September, 2008.

Other contributors to the study are John-Mark Agosta with Intel Corporation; Jeff Rowe, research scientist in the UC Davis Computer Security Laboratory; and UC Davis computer science professors Karl Levitt and Felix Wu.

The study was supported by a grant from Intel IT Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "Low-cost Strategy Developed For Curbing Computer Worms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090113155900.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2009, January 14). Low-cost Strategy Developed For Curbing Computer Worms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090113155900.htm
University of California - Davis. "Low-cost Strategy Developed For Curbing Computer Worms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090113155900.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Announces Location-Sharing Feature 'Nearby Friends'

Facebook Announces Location-Sharing Feature 'Nearby Friends'

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Facebook's pending Nearby Friends feature will give users the option to share their nonspecific or specific locations with certain friends. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michaels Hack Compromises About 3 Million Credit Cards

Michaels Hack Compromises About 3 Million Credit Cards

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Michaels is now confirming that an eight-month security breach compromised about 3 million customers' credit and debit card data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Twitter Introduces Facebook-Style App Install Ads

Twitter Introduces Facebook-Style App Install Ads

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) Twitter hopes to make money on app install ads, which has proven to be a successful strategy for Facebook. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins