Intel Working on Rootkit Detection Techniques

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 6:08 am

Intel is working on a research project that would immediately notify PC users if they inadvertently download a rootkit such as the XCP (extended copy protection) software found on certain music CDs shipped by Sony, researchers said Tuesday.

Intel today held an open house for press, analysts, students, and employees in Folsom, California, to showcase some of its projects and to talk a little about its vision of the future of computing. That future involves relieving humans of the job of serving as gatekeepers for reams of information flowing between computers and people, said David Tennenhouse, vice president of Intel’s technology group and director of research at the company.

“We need to connect the computers directly to the data, so the human beings don’t have to be the I/O channel, and elevate the role of the human being to a more supervisory role,” Tennenhouse said.

Intel’s project is a long way from appearing in new PCs, however. The project is tentatively scheduled to become part of Intel’s products around 2008 or 2009, according to Travis Schluessler, a researcher with Intel.
Constant Program Monitor

One interesting project involves placing a small chip on a PC’s motherboard to monitor programs constantly for modifications that might be the result of a malicious attack, Schluessler said.

The Intel project seeks to protect systems from malicious programs that make their way onto a system and attack application software running in the system’s memory, Schluessler said. Many modern worms and viruses, such as the Slammer and Blaster worms, attempt either to disable programs running in memory or to alter those programs so that they run the attacker’s code and then propagate themselves across a network, he said.

Source: PC World


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