Detecting the ‘genetic’ characteristics of malware

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Credit: Flickr/ leonelcunha

The battle between malicious software and computer anti-virus programs is continuous and ever-evolving.  But thinking of malware in a biological way can give us new tools to protect our computers, New Scientist reports.

Computer scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand recently translated the digital “signatures” of computer viruses into amino acid sequences—similarly to how a living organism translates a DNA sequence into an amino acid sequence. Then the researchers modeled how the malware’s amino acid sequences would look when arranged into a protein.

By translating the digital codes into protein models, the researchers were able to identify malicious software with 35 percent more accuracy than the standard techniques can achieve. “If further study shows malware evolution follows some of the same rules as amino acids and proteins,” New Scientist writes, “our knowledge of biological systems could be used to help fight it.”

Read the full article here: Treat malware as biology to know it better

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