Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Businessweek Archives

Inoculating Against Future Pc Viruses

Bits & Bytes


The more computers your office desktop communicates with, the more likely it is to pick up a computer virus. These mischievous and sometimes devastating programs, usually planted by unscrupulous hackers, can spread--undetected--through your computer system and leave unwanted messages or even erase files. And the problem may only grow as more businesses connect to on-line services and the Internet. Antivirus programs can help, but most of them can only detect known viruses and must be updated frequently. Generic programs that scan for suspicious activity have only mixed reliability.

At a recent Artificial Life conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researchers from IBM revealed a solution they're developing: an immune system for computers that is modeled after biological immune systems. When an unknown program appears or an unexpected change occurs in your computer, the immune program would launch decoy programs and see if they become infected. If so, that would confirm the presence of a virus. In addition to erasing the virus, the immune program would also extract from the infected decoy a virus "signature," or tell-tale piece of its programming, and keep it to help detect future infections from similar viruses. The IBM researchers say the program will be built into IBM software beginning next year.EDITED BY JOHN W. VERITY

blog comments powered by Disqus