Building a better worm trap

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Malicious software targeted by newly patented technology

By Roger Snodgrass

The danger of malicious computer codes circulating among computers and their networks has become a common situation for individuals and workplaces. Despite daily occurrences of identity theft and thousands of successful breaches within the federal government, many people remain oblivious of the dangers.

A Government Accountability Report published earlier this year reported a 206 percent increase in security incidents from 2005 to 2008.

Malware has the potential to pose security threats, which is where scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory come in.

The laboratory announced Tuesday that a first patent had been issued on a new malware defense, known as support vector machine classifiers, or SVM, that appears to have a number of promising advantages over other systems currently being used.

Michael Cai of LANL’s International Space and Response Division described the development as an advance “from an expert-based system to an information based system.”

Laboratory officials believe the technology may have potential for commercialization.

The announcement included a invitation from David Siegel of the Tech Transfer Division for possible commercial partners.

“(T)here may be opportunities for exclusive field of use licensing,” he said.

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