Newcomer Challenges the Antivirus Establishment

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Start-up Robot Genius claims that it has a new way to fight malware and that established vendors have some catching up to do.

The Robot Genius client software, called Spyberus, uses a driver-based filtering technique to monitor and track like an audit trail all installed files on a system.

Spyberus detects malware and reverse malware infections using a Take Control feature to stop malware-hijacked processes.

Robot Genius plans to make Spyberus available as a free client for Windows XP and 32-bit Vista in early May. "Spyberus can't run on 64-bit Vista because of what Microsoft did with kernel protection," says Hsu, co-founder and chairman of the company.

Robot Genius plans to release a free browser plug-in later in May. Hsu adds he's working with a "major search engine," which he declined to name, that is sharing a subset of Web crawl data it collects so Robot Genius can identify harmful executables through what is says is a largely automated method.

Hsu says the McAfee, Symantec and Trend Micro, as well as other security vendors, are working on similar methods of malware detection, and he intends to show Robot Genius will do it better.

"We have their scanning engines, and the best antivirus products only catch 60 percent of the malware we detect," boasts Hsu.

Robot Genius's strategy calls for licensing its technology to antivirus companies, network firewall vendors and search engines that want to block Web-based malware which is often found in online games, screen savers, toolbars and small applications dispensed over the Web.

This story, "Newcomer Challenges the Antivirus Establishment" was originally published by Network World.

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