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Code Defends Against 'stealthy' Computer Worms

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Pennsylvania State University (PSU) researchers have developed an algorithm that defends against the spread of local scanning worms that search for hosts in "local" spaces within networks or subnetworks. The algorithm works by estimating the size of the targeted host population and monitoring the occurrence of infections. It then sets a threshold value just equal to or below the average number of scans necessary to infect a host.

"By applying the containment thresholds from our proposed algorithm, outbreaks can be blocked early," says PSU postdoctoral fellow Yoon-Ho Choi.

The algorithm was tested and proved to be able to determine the size of the susceptible host population as well as an efficient estimator of worm virulence. "Our evaluation showed that the algorithm is reliable in the very early propagation stage and is better than the state-of-the-art defense," Choi says.

From Penn State Live
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