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A boffin at Kings College London, has come up with a way to tackle online fraud, based on the immune system's response to attack by disease.

According to the New Scientist, Richard Overill is working on a system that will be able to tell the difference between a genuine transaction and a fraudulent one in the same way that our bodies can distinguish one of its own cells from an invader's.

The system randomly generates thousands of "detectors", little programs that recognise particular transactions. These will travel round networks looking for dodgy transactions or invaders.

Overill explained to NS: "We get rid of anything that detects 'self' by matching the random detectors against 'natural' or 'good' transactions. Any detector that matches a bona fide pattern is killed off, so only those that recognise fraud remain."

In what must be an unprecedented example of these two institutions agreeing about anything, a researcher at University College London has spoken in support of the idea.

Ian Brown, a cyberfraud expert at UCL, said he thought it could be useful for monitoring credit card transactions. But, careful not to go too far in agreeing with a KCL academic, he added that secure encryption will also have to be part of the solution.

The system will be developed over the next three years, and the Post Office is already in the frame to be the first on board.

The original story is here

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