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Self-Repairing Software Tackles Bugs

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Artist's representation of self-repairing software.

Researchers at the University of Utah have developed a software suite that can detect and eliminate malware from computers running the Linux operating system.


University of Utah researchers have developed the Advanced Adaptive Applications (A3) software suite to detect and eliminate malware. They say A3 instantly repairs damage and prevents malware from infecting the computer again.

A3 works with a virtual machine that emulates the operations of a computer without dedicated hardware. The software is designed to monitor a virtual machine's operating system and applications, notes University of Utah professor Eric Eide. A3 is intended to protect servers or similar business-grade computers that run on the Linux operating system, along with military applications.

There are no plans to adapt A3 for home computers or laptops, but Eide says this could be a possibility in the future.

A3 can detect new, unknown viruses or malware automatically by sensing that something is occurring in the computer's operation that is not correct. A3 stops the virus, determines a repair for the damaged software code, and learns to permanently block that malware from entering the machine.

To test A3's effectiveness, a team from the university and Raytheon BBN used it against the Shellshock malware. A3 was able to discover Shellshock on a Web server and repair the damage in four minutes, while six other pieces of malware also were successfully handled by A3, Eide notes.

From University of Utah News
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