Kapersky to Offer Hardware-Based Antivirus, with CPU

Dennis Faas's picture

With thousands of computer security companies spending millions of dollars in research and product development each year, some might question how the influence of hackers continues to be a growing problem. One company has apparently found success in reducing the spread of viruses and malware by doing things the "hard" way.

Hardware-Based Antivirus Best for Rootkits

Kaspersky Lab announced the acquisition of a U.S. patent for a hardware-based antivirus solution. The success of this form of antivirus will limit the amount of damage done by the stealthiest of malware because the Kaspersky method operates below the level of rootkits and therefore supersedes any attempt to bypass them.

The hardware-based antivirus method is located between the PC and disk drive. The system can be implemented as a separate device or integrated into a disk controller. (Source: neowin.net)

Hardware Antivirus Uses Own CPU, Memory

A hardware-based update method uses a two-phase approach.

First, the updates are transferred from a trusted utility to an update sector of the antivirus system. Then, the updates are verified within the system and the databases are updated. The hardware antivirus system has its own CPU and memory, so it will use less processing power from the main CPU of the computer.

Not the End of Software Protection

Still, software is not entirely phased out as it applies to the Kaspersky method.

While a hardware-based antivirus approach does not strictly need a software counterpart running in the host system, it does require host software in order to update itself. Obviously, this update application will need to be trusted and hardened against attack. (Source: yahoo.com)

Long Term Affects Not Yet Known

While this approach to virus and malware combat is fresh and exciting, analysts are still uncertain how effective it will be in the long run. If this method proves to be just an antivirus system running below the level of the rootkit, the improvements will likely be limited, as it will only operate as well as the antivirus signature process allows.

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