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Company gets $400,000 to develop trap for computer worms

by Donna Buenaventura / February 24, 2004 12:29 PM PST

The Government has poured $400,000 into an Auckland company's research and development of software that will detect and stop computer worms within minutes after the start of an attack.

Esphion, which specialises in developing technologies to monitor and analyse network traffic, has begun work into the "groundbreaking" project.

Technology New Zealand (TNZ), the Government's research and development investment agency, contributed the funding through its technology for business growth scheme.

Esphion chief executive Greg Cross said today with the number and intensity of worm outbreaks on the rise, there was strong demand for a new generation of products that could stop costly attacks.

The catalyst for the project was last year's Welchia worm that infected hundreds of thousands of machines around the world and brought a lot of networks to their knees, with the excessive traffic it created.

Organisations that depended on the Internet now recognise it was no longer acceptable to provide security updates after a worm had struck.

Current security devices based their defence around matching a worm to a database of known "signatures" to stop the worm spreading.

If the worm was new, they needed to build a new signature and then publish it so users could then download it.


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