Intel scientists unveiled a series of intriguing announcements at the last day of the Intel Developers Forum. While these are all future technologies, Intel feels they are solid and important. The Automatic Network Outbreak Containment program identifies and quarantines worms that attack a network. Because the program looks at network behavior resulting from an attack, rather than trying to match bytes to known viruses, it is a very effective defensive weapon, News.com reports.
The software examines anomalies in packet traffic and, if a problem occurs, takes the computer off the network. In 8,000 hours of tests, the technology has detected every known virus thrown at it, as well as the synthetic worms concocted in the lab, said Justin Rattner, who runs the chipmaker's corporate technology group.
"It is looking at changes in traffic pattern behavior. It doesn't have anything to do with how the virus was coded," said Rattner. "It also does a good job avoiding false positives. If your system was disconnected from the network because of a suspected virus on a regular basis, you would be very unhappy."
PCWorld reported that Intel is also working on a way to pinpoint the location of a Wi-Fi user by triangulating the user's distance from the nearest access point. While Rattner talked about securing Wi-Fi networks with the technology, there are clear applications for government, such as identifying the location of a first responder in trouble, providing appropriate maps and other information to government employees on the move, and quickly identifying malfunctioning devices. Inside, where the approach really shines, a program could move between Wi-Fi connected devices, from a large monitor display, to laptops, to PDAs.
There are obvious security concerns as well. "Consumers should have complete control over turning the tracking mechanism off or on," Intel's Ian Smith said. "We've made a decision to take the problem really seriously."
Intel is also working on better voltage regulators, smart image search and autonomic computer systems.