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Digital 'Ants' Take on Computer Worms

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posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 10:22 AM
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Oct. 28, 2009 -- Digital ants could soon be crawling through your computer's hard drive, but don't worry, they are there to help.

Scientists from Wake Forest University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have created an army of digital ants and their superior officers, digital sergeants and sentinels, to search out viruses, worms and other malware.



Like their biological counterparts, each individual ant is not very bright. A connection rate, CPU utilization or one of about 60 other technical details is all they can sense. When an ant detects something unusual, it leaves a digital pheromone, a tiny digital sense that says something unusual is going on here, and that other ants should check it out.



The sentinels and sergeants reward the ants for finding problems. If an ant doesn't find enough problems it "dies" off, although a minimum number is always maintained.

If a particular kind of ant finds lots of problems then more of them are created to monitor the problem. The entire system is modeled off of a normal ant colony and uses "swarm intelligence" to find and diagnose problems


I'm not computer savvy at all when it comes to things like this. So, I ask those of you with the expertise, will this really work? Is it something that is so technically difficult that only now it can be developed? It seems like something fairly simple to me, although I would have never thought of it. Isn't it funny...viruses, worms...and ants to kill them. It's alive! It's alive I tell you!


SOURCE: dsc.discovery.com...

Enjoy!




posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 10:37 AM
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The bad guys will just create a digital ant eater to take care of those pesky little dudes.

Ah the joy a digital pet brings to ones superficial self.



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 10:42 AM
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i dont understand this much either but it sounds like a terrible idea. it sounds like "the good guys" want to use their virus to find another virus. any thing that is sent into your hard drive that doesn't belong there is a virus. i dont like the sound of that at all.



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by Doc Tesla
i dont understand this much either but it sounds like a terrible idea. it sounds like "the good guys" want to use their virus to find another virus. any thing that is sent into your hard drive that doesn't belong there is a virus. i dont like the sound of that at all.


So then dust is a computer virus?

Sheesh. Who would have thunk it?



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 10:59 AM
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Originally posted by RestingInPieces

Originally posted by Doc Tesla
i dont understand this much either but it sounds like a terrible idea. it sounds like "the good guys" want to use their virus to find another virus. any thing that is sent into your hard drive that doesn't belong there is a virus. i dont like the sound of that at all.


So then dust is a computer virus?

Sheesh. Who would have thunk it?



dust can get into the important parts of your computer which can lead to slower performance, fans getting clogged, and if it gets into your hard drive it can turn it into a paper weight. so it can have the same effects as a virus.

check and mate sir



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by Doc Tesla

Originally posted by RestingInPieces

Originally posted by Doc Tesla
i dont understand this much either but it sounds like a terrible idea. it sounds like "the good guys" want to use their virus to find another virus. any thing that is sent into your hard drive that doesn't belong there is a virus. i dont like the sound of that at all.


So then dust is a computer virus?

Sheesh. Who would have thunk it?



dust can get into the important parts of your computer which can lead to slower performance, fans getting clogged, and if it gets into your hard drive it can turn it into a paper weight. so it can have the same effects as a virus.

check and mate sir


What about water? If your computer is outside and it's raining, is the rain a virus? Since your computer is usually in your house, I guess your house is some type of computer anti-virus... unless the house catches on fire, then it becomes a virus...

Shoot, but then if it starts raining on your house that is on fire, it could be an anti-virus too (unless it soaks your computer).

I'm so confused.



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 03:16 PM
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No...I don't really like the sound of it either...maybe not until it's really advanced...even still...I think I'll stick with my old school scanners...who knows what the ants might chew up mistaking it for a virus...to many problems could arise...

EDIT: I suppose it could work if the ants checked with me before deleting data...

[edit on 28/10/09 by CHA0S]



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by Aggie Man

I'm not computer savvy at all when it comes to things like this. So, I ask those of you with the expertise, will this really work? Is it something that is so technically difficult that only now it can be developed? It seems like something fairly simple to me, although I would have never thought of it. Isn't it funny...viruses, worms...and ants to kill them. It's alive! It's alive I tell you!


It's called Artificial Intelligence.. I think few others have already made something similar. Like virtual lifeforms that evolve through 'virtual natural selection' and they 'eat, sleep, hunt for food, and reproduce'. So yes, it's entirely possible.



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 10:56 PM
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Computer Savv / Cisco Student / Network Adminstrator / Majoring in CNET reporting in.

Interesting concept, but someone like me with a degree in networking, and vast knowledge of how hardware, operating software, and applications act in a whole, I can personally promise you all that although this may indeed be one of the 'best Anti Virus Softwares' to be released yet, it will still be bought out by McAfee, or someone equally rich. This will in turn, lead to more engineered obsolescence, meaning that you will always be paying more for better protection. And, in them buying this, this will also come with the hefty price of a subscription fee after you buy the software itself, and having to renew it monthly, and oh yes, don't forget if you want the BEST protection you have to get the Professional edition.

(Think about this, how would AVS suites make money if they actually did prevent Windows OS from getting viruses, completely? They wouldn't. Therefore they allow viruses to infect PCs, then they figure they'll put down the tetris game and make a coding patch for their AV databases)

Now, I'm going to debunk this software, very easily, and very easy for you to understand alike.

1) This software will cost an arm and a leg, more or less.

2) This software will slow down your PC, more than likely more so than previous AVS(Antivirus Software).

2a) Why? Basically AVS runs in the background of the computer. It checks to see when something is amiss, for instance, if you're on a website and some 'spyware' tries to infect you, your AVS will pop up and say hey this site is no good.

Now, the fundamental flaw with these "Anti Viral Ants", is that they will be searching throughout your entire hard drive, all the time, which will raise CPU load, RAM load, and HDD load.

They invented the "Search for Viruses on my Computer" button for a reason, when you think your computer is running slow, you make sure your AV Databases are updated and you search.

3) Engineered Obsolescence.

Now, as neat, and new-tech this may sound, it's absolutely not, there are several programs around the internet and on your computer right now that complete similar actions, such as defragmenting your hard drive. Also, I don't know if someone actually thought literally, that this software would remove 'dust' from your hard drive, it will not.

Anymore questions, ask me.

(Also, for those who are so worried about getting a virus, I suggest you just download and burn a copy of Linux, you won't have to worry about that.)

Free and IMHO the best AVS: Avast Home Edition, grab it at www.download.com

[edit on 28-10-2009 by Revolution-2012]

[edit on 28-10-2009 by Revolution-2012]

[edit on 28-10-2009 by Revolution-2012]



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 11:20 PM
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I tend to disagree. I think if done properly, and under an open source banner perhaps with the power of Google behind it, it could become a very valuable resource.

If the program was written correctly, and had certain low level permissions, it could be setup to run in the background as a small program. It will monitor resources and probably not consume more memory than top or task manager does. If it notices any signs of some sort of virii program, then, and only then, does it take up more resources, or so called "call for backup".

This call for backup would be akin to you hitting the scan button. It can even be throttled back to deal with the problem over time.

This could all be taking place with little or no drag on the system with any kind of power to it. It could also be setup to hibernate when other applications are running, or set to some CPU cycle threshold. Maybe set to use only 5-10% of the CPU at any given time to do its work. It could also be setup to run at higher percentages when the CPU is idle, or the screen saver is enabled.

As was stated, the ants would also only spawn once every so often. If the ant finds no problems, it dies off. Maybe it returns a week or so later to check things out. Maybe it only lives during a screensaver?

It is simply to hard to dismiss an idea like this as instantly obsolete.

The possibilities are definitely out there and I would not be surprised if Google or some other open source project team picks up on this and runs with it. If the open source community does a good enough job, it could even stop virii all together, never letting it get through server farms or networks.



[edit on 28-10-2009 by xmaddness]



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 11:41 PM
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Detecting Trojans and virus progs is one thing but unless they can identify and repair programs that have been affected by code injections i wouldn't see the point.



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 12:22 AM
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I like the virtual pheromone marking concept actually - so far as I understand it there are 2 types of virus scanning (the good ones do both - I only know cos I am trying the new Microsoft security essentials
and that only does the one).

The 2 are, well the 1st is a data base of signatures... A virus is identified by the greater world and every few days they package up the fingerprints of all the new threats and send them out as an update to all the AV users - we are all used to that method.



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 01:01 AM
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Originally posted by Aggie Man

Oct. 28, 2009 -- Digital ants could soon be crawling through your computer's hard drive, but don't worry, they are there to help.

Scientists from Wake Forest University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have created an army of digital ants and their superior officers, digital sergeants and sentinels, to search out viruses, worms and other malware.



Like their biological counterparts, each individual ant is not very bright. A connection rate, CPU utilization or one of about 60 other technical details is all they can sense. When an ant detects something unusual, it leaves a digital pheromone, a tiny digital sense that says something unusual is going on here, and that other ants should check it out.



The sentinels and sergeants reward the ants for finding problems. If an ant doesn't find enough problems it "dies" off, although a minimum number is always maintained.

If a particular kind of ant finds lots of problems then more of them are created to monitor the problem. The entire system is modeled off of a normal ant colony and uses "swarm intelligence" to find and diagnose problems


I'm not computer savvy at all when it comes to things like this. So, I ask those of you with the expertise, will this really work? Is it something that is so technically difficult that only now it can be developed? It seems like something fairly simple to me, although I would have never thought of it. Isn't it funny...viruses, worms...and ants to kill them. It's alive! It's alive I tell you!


SOURCE: dsc.discovery.com...

Enjoy!




Thats cool......until Some hacker invents a virus that turns those ants against us. those very same ants that have access to our harddrives...

Hmmmmm



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 01:28 AM
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A hacker could use the ants to do the work of the virus.

The malware could mimic the phermones left by the ants then the ants would swarm, swarm and swarm and overwhelm the computer system until it crashes. Kinda like a denial of service attack.




posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by xmaddness
 


Open Source / AVS?

You've got to be kidding me. It would defeat the purpose.



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 06:45 PM
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reply to post by Revolution-2012
 


Why not open source?

Defeat what purpose exactly?



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