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HP tools would limit virus damage

Among other tasks, the software minimizes the number of connections an infected device can make with other machines, HP says.

Hewlett-Packard on Friday released its newest form of antivirus software, a set of damage control applications meant to stem the spread of attacks once they've already been launched on a network.

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Labeled HP Virus Throttle software, the package is designed to speed the rate at which companies can find and address threats present in their IT systems. HP said the tools independently search for abnormal, virus-like behavior and limit the number of connections an infected device can make with other machines.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said the product, developed by its HP Labs division, constantly monitors network connection requests and looks for new virus activity. HP claims that the faster a virus is trying to propagate itself within a specific network, the more rapidly Virus Throttle responds. The company said the tool's reaction time is typically measured in milliseconds and that it reacts without waiting for human attention.

HP says Virus Throttle also alerts system administrators to the presence of any worm or virus so they can remove the malicious software from infected systems.

"If IT systems were intelligent enough to automatically detect and shut down attacks before they spread, administrators would spend less time and money trying to catch up," Tony Redmond, chief technology officer of HP Services, said in a statement.

The software--for which the company has yet to detail pricing--will be marketed in a package aimed at users of HP's ProLiant servers and ProCurve Networking 5300 switches.

The applications will also be sold in a package known as the HP Security Containment suite, which is designed to help applications already compromised by a virus affecting access to other applications and files.