Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Beware the Smart Virus

SAN DIEGO -- Storage Networking World -- IT managers at this week's SNW show claimed to be bracing themselves for a new breed of super virus based on complex mathematical theories that could wreak havoc on storage networks and servers.

Sasan Hamidi, CIO of Miami, Fla., travel firm Interval International and a computer scientist, warned attendees that a new super-virulent virus may be targeting their systems in the future. "It's not far-fetched. It is possible... to create a living computer program and let it have intelligence," he said during a presentation, explaining that the virus could mutate itself to avoid patches and intrusion detection technologies.

Cellular automation, which builds complex patterns using simple rules, and even game theory are just a couple of the advanced scientific methods that could be used to build these threats, according to Hamidi, a former senior project manager at the global security division of IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and director of enterprise architecture at General Electric.

"A lot of these techniques could be used to produce extremely sophisticated computer attacks -- worms, viruses, and Trojan horses, that we're not aware of today," he warned.

The new type of threat, which Hamidi describes as "evolutionary computing," would differ from traditional viruses and worms in that the code, once detected, would alter itself and then attack another part of the network. "The code adapts itself to the environment. This could be a worm that learns from the environment and becomes more intelligent."

  • 1