Not everyone hates worms – the natural kind, that is. I still remember classmates from grade school (even high school!) who grossed out everyone else by eating worms in their natural state. I am talking about a different kind of worm here, though; the kind that everyone hates; computer worms.
Pretty soon, we just might have ants on our side to combat the threat that worms pose year in and year out. Researchers in the field of IT security have been working on a project to combat worms, drawing their inspiration from the common ant. The Daily Tech tells the story:
Security researchers found inspiration in the common ant. Describes Wake Forest University Professor of Computer Science Errin Fulp, “In nature, we know that ants defend against threats very successfully. They can ramp up their defense rapidly, and then resume routine behavior quickly after an intruder has been stopped. We were trying to achieve that same framework in a computer system.”
WFU created digital “ants” — utilities that migrate from computer to computer over networks searching for threats. When one locates a threat, others congregate on it, using so-called “swarm intelligence”. The approach allows human researchers to quickly identify and quarantine dangerous files by watching the activity of the ants.
The implications are tremendous. Anti-virus software that is commonly used today usually take up a lot of resources, and make computers slow down. With this new technology, we just might see a whole new breed of anti-virus programs. While everything is in the research and development phase still, it does give us a bright future in terms of fighting malware!