Feeds

Fujitsu creates antivirus virus for Japanese government

Code seeks out and destroys malware and botnet systems

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Fujitsu has developed code for the Japanese government that will destroy malware and collect information on its creators.

The government decided to investigate the possibilities of such code in 2005, and three years later the Defense Ministry's Technical Research and Development Institute awarded Fujitsu a ¥178.5m ($2.3m) contract to develop it. The software has now been completed and is undergoing testing in a closed network environment, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

The code is designed to identify malware, chiefly that which is used to set up a botnet, and can both eliminate it on the host PC and also identify which computer the malware came from, then attempt to erase the code at source. The software has also shown more limited utility at identifying key loggers and other code designed to steal data.

Sources in the government told the paper that the code would be used to identify the origin of infections for domestic systems and not used overseas, since Japanese law makes it difficult to use such tools outside of national borders. However, the Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry have begun legislative consideration regarding the matter.

The code itself shouldn’t be too hard to develop, since the malware industry already turns out software that checks for competing code on infected machines and deletes it. However, Graham Cluley, senior technology correspondent at Sophos, gave the idea a resounding thumbs-down.

“There have been a few attempts in the past to create 'good' viruses,” he writes. "The Cruncher virus, for instance, was designed to save disk space by compressing files, and Mark Ludwig's KOH virus tried to win the title of a 'good virus' by encrypting hard drive data. And we've even seen malware that is designed to find child abuse images and report its discoveries to the authorities. But the simple truth is that none of them have needed to be viral to deliver their positive benefit.” ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.