Computer Virus – The Other Side Of the Coin

Cybersecurity

One of the biggest sources of frustration to many people is computer viruses, and for the past few weeks this is a great source of fear too in the form of loss of money or valuable documents.

By Navneet K. Gaur

The aim behind most of the technologies developed by human beings, is plain ease of life, but when you look at them closely, you always find two faces to them, one that makes your life heaven and another that would make it hell. Like nuclear technology when used in reactors to generate power is a blessing with an infinite source of energy, without disturbing natural resources too much. But on the other hand it could become an end game for the human civilization, if used in a nuclear bomb.

One of the biggest sources of frustration to many people is computer viruses, and for the past few weeks this is a great source of fear too in the form of loss of money or valuable documents. If you ask who all favor such a technology, you might not find even a single person. Few people who manage to get some undue advantage due to these might favor that silently. I still think that I should argue that technology is not an issue here, the intention of the people who use it to get undue advantages is.

Let’s see how we usually define a computer virus

“A computer virus is a type of malicious software program (“malware”) that, when executed, replicates by reproducing itself (copying its own source code) by infecting other computer programs by modifying them. Infecting computer programs can include as well, data files, or the “boot” sector of the hard drive.” – Source Wikipedia
Let’s setup another prospective to the Computer Virus and start using it as a security agent in place or a nemesis.
We can use the same technology to develop a case where Security Bots (I am giving them a new name, but implementation wise, they will be same as Computer Virus) will be implicitly active under one System. Here, for example, a system can be a banking organization. Security Bots will add their signature to all of the files and documents in the system. Anything added to this system will be stamped by these Security Bots. This process of stamping will increase the size of the file by few kb, but will not impact performance at any level.

These Security Bots allow files to be accessedwithin the system. Any attempt to execute or open the file outside the system, will be blocked and network signature of the device attempting to do so will be sent to the Security Server, allowing them to capture the information about secure data/file leak. To accomplish this whenever an external device is used to connect the system and copy these files or contents, it will get infected/stamped by these Security Bots. Hence, not of any use outside the system.

If you see the properties of these Security Bots, they are similar to Computer Viruses. They infect whatever they come in touch with, they replicate by themselves without any external support, they block the information access and so on. Despite similar properties and behavior, they are a helping hand in the system in terms of knocking the unwanted things off.

So in the end, it’s all about the perspective. You might be creating a Nuclear Bomb killing people or a Nuclear Power Plant that gives life to the society. Similarly, You might be creating a Computer Virus doing some serious damage to a computer network or a Security Bot saving that same network from hackers.

The author is Senior Project Manager at Xavient Information Systems.

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