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Truth Is Stranger Than (Science) Fiction

FaceTime Communications says it has some good news for you. The company feels so confident about some new patent pending technology that it is offering a "worm-free guarantee" to users of its IMAuditor 6.5. FaceTime's confidence stems from new discovery techniques that utilize behavioral attributes such as message frequency, content matching and URL identification, in addition to traditional threat signatures. The thought being that once the threat signatures become available, it's often too late and you're in extermination mode rather than protection mode.

Gee, I hope it works. It's an interesting idea, to look at all the attributes that make up a threat profile in addition to the actual code. But I wonder how long it will be before the schmucks out there learn to develop patternless worms. Oh that's right, for the most part they already have. That's the Catch-22 of this fight against malware—there is never any pattern and there is always a pattern, once one is discovered, that is.I couldn't help but think of Frank Herbert's Dune series of sci-fi novels in which the planet's native people, the Fremen (pronounced Free-men) learned to traverse the vast expanses of sand walking without any set rhythms and patterns so the giant worms couldn't detect their movements and devour them. Oh, come on, I know you read Dune.

What a reversal we have here. It's the worms that will evolve patternless behavior and us Free-men will never be free until we can detect the patterns.