Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Strange Idea: Probiotic Computer Viruses

I've been mulling this one over for a few weeks and I figured it was time to share it...

Medical science has accepted that certain microorganisms are beneficial to the host organism. These are called probiotics. I won't bore you with all the details. If you really want to learn more, just click the link provided.

Since technology tends to mimic life, it makes sense to investigate the possibility of developing probiotic computer viruses. Imagine instead of a virus that tries to steal your credit card numbers, a probiotic that spreads online to specifically combat a malicious virus or to close a security loophole. Instead of relying on a centralized system to provide operating system updates, would it be feasible to use the same distribution methods of malicious viruses to spread beneficial probiotics?

Obviously, this requires more thought. It also is open to serious interpretation -- what I consider malicious or troublesome, someone else may love. It's all in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.  

However, I think this idea may have some merit. Relying on centralized systems to distribute security updates creates a weak link in the chain. It leads to a single point of failure that can be attacked. However, if these were decentralized (like a peer-to-peer file sharing service) there can be no single point of failure.

How crazy am I?








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