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April 2004

In Science: Combating the virus menace

Throttling mechanism slows virus spread, leaves normal network traffic unaffected

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Fast-spreading computer viruses and worms continue to plague information networks – and the problem is getting worse. In an article published in the 23 April issue of the journal Science, HP Labs researcher Matt Williamson and others look at strategies that could reduce the damage caused by these cyber attacks.

Williamson and his co-authors examine the structure of different types of computer network that are vulnerable to attack and analyze their characteristics. Their research suggests that the most effective strategy to combat worm and virus attacks is a technique called Throttling, which limits the spread of a virus or worm by radically slowing the speed at which they can make new network connections.

In their article, Technical Networks and the Spread of Computer Viruses, the authors argue that a throttling mechanism would slow the spread of computer infections while leaving normal network traffic unaffected.

Read the full article (subscription required)

Related HP Labs technical reports

Design, implementation and test of an email virus throttle
(HPL-2003-118)

Implementing and testing a virus throttle
(HPL-2003-103)

Virus throttling (overview)
(HPL-2003-69)

Epidemic spreading in technological networks
(HPL-2002-287)

Throttling viruses: Restricting propagation to defeat malicious mobile code
(HPL-2002-172R1)

Hitting back at Code Red
(HPL-2002-111)


 

 

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