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HP to launch 'virus throttling' software
Contributed by: G3nu1n3, at 12/01/2004 09:04:00 PM.

Hewlett-Packard plans to give customers a new weapon against viruses: software that crimps their spread.

Early next year, the computer maker will begin selling software designed to slow the spread of viruses from its ProLiant servers and ProCurve networking equipment, an HP executive said on Tuesday. A version for HP's personal computers is planned for later release.

The software will give administrators time to respond to an attack, Tony Redmond, chief technology officer of HP Services, said at an HP security event here. The time lag between a vulnerability in software being discovered and a virus being written is getting ever shorter, and viruses are spreading at a breakneck rate, he said.

"Ten years ago, all we worried about were floppy disk attacks. People would walk from PC to PC with an infected floppy. Five years ago, with "I Love You" and "Melissa" (viruses), we had a sudden acceleration of the threat," Redmond said. "Today, the type of viruses and worms we see are spreading at computational speed--a speed that a human can't deal with."

HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., touted the software at a media event designed to spotlight the company's security efforts. Security is an active research area at HP Labs, and the company has 16 patents relating to the virus-throttling technology.

The program can distinguish between regular server process behavior and viruses to detect an attack. "A rogue process such as a worm or virus tends to be making the same type of connection at a much more frequent pace," Redmond said. "If a process probes a particular process probes a particular socket on 1,000 systems a minute, what can you conclude? It's probably not a user or (a legitimate) server process."

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