Use ants to fight worms

September 28, 2009 – 1:25 PM

To combat worms, Trojans and other malware, a team of security researchers wants to use ants.

Not the actual live insects, of course, but computer programs modelled to act like ants in the way they roam a network and search for anomalies. “Ants aren’t intelligent,” says Glenn Fink, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory who came up with the idea for the project, “but as a colony ants exert some very intelligent behavior.”

According to Fink and one of his project partners, associate professor Errin Fulp of Wake Forest University, their in-the-works project uses distributed data-collecting sensors that are modelled after the six-legged natural creatures. But where ants may leave scent trails to guide other ants to a discovered threat or food source, Fink’s sensors pass along collected data to other sensors in an attempt to identify anomalous behavior that may signal a malware infection in a large-scale network.


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