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HP Works On Software To Slow Computer Worms

Engineers at Hewlett-Packard are working on "virus-throttling" software that they say could slow the spread of Internet-borne viruses and worms.

Researchers for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer giant said Tuesday that the new software wouldn't destroy threats such as the "Blaster" worm, which crippled more than a million computers last summer.

But the software -- tentatively named Virus Throttler -- would blunt the sting of viruses by identifying and alerting technicians to suspicious behavior, HP says. If the patented software suspects that a computer has become infected with a so-called "self-propagating" worm, it severely limits some of the computer's functions.

"Any worm or virus that depends on its ability to spread itself will be hurt by this technology," said HP chief technology officer Tony Redmond.

HP plans to begin selling the software to corporate customers next year, but it hasn't released prices. It has not yet tested it on PCs. Redmond wouldn't speculate on when, if ever, the software would be sold to individuals.

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