Vaccine worms to spread virus patches?

Despite being used for nefarious purposes, “worm” viruses are clever little bits of self-distributing code. Microsoft researchers here in the UK are considering fighting fire with fire, and using the same replication methods deployed by malicious viruses to spread software patches.

It’s an interesting approach – using the weapons of the enemy against them, so to speak. But one wonders whether the effort wouldn’t be just as well spent on, y’know, making sure the software had less holes in need of patching before it got released?

Just a thought.

[Guess who’s been helping a friend clean viruses off their computer this week …]

One thought on “Vaccine worms to spread virus patches?”

  1. As I recall, though the details are a bit fuzzy now, back four-five years ago, there was a zero-day exploit virus which became quite widespread. An attempt to counter it was produced as another virus, which would find the security hole, and patch it, before Microsoft came out with an official patch.

    Unfortunately, the virus-carried patch often failed to install correctly, and sometimes broke Windows enough to require a reinstall. Anyone have a better memory for this than I do?

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