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Thursday, March 03, 2005
Symantec Granted Patent for Security Tech


By establishing a mechanism that enables researchers to write simple detection scripts to allow for complex scanning and emulation of executable files, complex threats can be detected more easily.

Symantec has been granted a new patent for antivirus technology by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent, number 6,851,057, covers technology related to detecting complex viruses, worms and spyware.

The technology strategy, which the company calls "data-driven detection of viruses," is used throughout Symantec's portfolio of security software at the desktop, server and gateway levels for consumers and for enterprises.

According to a company statement, the invention represents a "fundamental component of modern threat-detection software" and is applicable to all operating systems and classes of malicious code.

By establishing a mechanism that enables researchers to write simple detection scripts to allow for complex scanning and emulation of executable files, complex threats -- such as self-mutating viruses, worms and spyware -- can be detected more easily.

The patent also covers technology that is said to give front-line antivirus researchers the ability to aim a virus scanner at specific regions of each file for inspection, rather that having to scan larger regions of files.

The technology was developed and patented by Carey Nachenberg, chief architect at Symantec Research Labs. Today's patent marks the sixteenth security-related patent awarded to Nachenberg in the last eight years.

"Over the years, viruses, worms and spyware have evolved considerably, making detection by traditional antivirus software increasingly difficult and time-consuming," said Nachenberg.

"This invention fundamentally reduces the complexity of detecting malicious software and shortens the response time needed to address new threats without the need for new product updates or patches," he said.

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