Virology: how can tomorrow’s viruses be recognised?

Researchers from the CARTE team analyse malicious codes and develop the anti-virus solutions of the future. They have updated a new method for detecting viruses which takes into account a fundamental parameter: the capacity of the virus to mutate, like a living virus. Awarded a prize in the 2009 national competition to encourage innovative technology businesses in the “Emerging” category, their technique allows the virus’ signature or skeleton to be extracted, namely the bit of the programme that does not change despite the mutations.

“This outcome enables more effective anti-virus programmes to be envisaged because they are capable of recognising viruses even once they have mutated. There are other scientific challenges to be faced, such as updating methods for identifying new viruses for which we do not understand the skeleton! With the LHS, we have the environment we need to run our tests in the future”, emphasises Jean-Yves Marion, the CARTE team’s director.

In addition, the CARTE team is working on neutralising botnets, networks of infected computers which are used for sending out spam and which could also be used for attacking Internet services. The researchers are also taking an interest in other vulnerable technological platforms such as telephones and on-board systems (e.g. cars etc.)