Microsoft Patents Proactive Virus Protection

Microsoft has just snared a U.S. patent for proactive virus protection, which is how security software helps secure your PC when it encounters shape-shifting malware not already in its antivirus definition file. What I want to know is, what does this mean for all the other vendors -- like McAfee,Symantec, Kaspersky, and Trend Micro -- that have been selling proactive protection software for years? Do they now have to pay Microsoft protection; I mean, royalties?

Marinescu's patent: "The current anti-virus software protection paradigm is a reactionary system; i.e., the anti-virus software is updated to protect a computer from malware only after the malware is released. Unfortunately, this means that at least some computers will be infected before anti-virus software is updated. . .

A substantial portion if not almost all unknown malware that exploits computer vulnerabilities are rewrites of previously released malware. Indeed, encountering absolutely novel malware is relatively rare. However, due to the pattern matching system employed by current anti-virus systems, it is not difficult to rehash/rewrite known malware such that the malware will get past the protection provided by anti-virus software.

In light of the above-identified problems, it would be beneficial to computer users, both in terms of computer security and in terms of cost-effectiveness, to have anti-virus software that proactively protects a computer against rewritten, or reorganized, malware designed for operating systems that make API calls. The present invention is directed to providing such software."

Link: Patent: 7,376,970
View: Full Article @ Information Week

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14 Comments

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Hello,

I think that many anti-virus companies use this technology, and have been using it for several years before Microsoft filed their patent application. Norman, for example, comes to mind.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Patent works in a funny way. If a "x" person ask for a patent (and years later will be grant) but a "y" person has used it previous the petition of the patent, then "y" can use it freely. Also, if "y" is a group of person then, even if you own the patent, then you can't ask royalty for the patent cause they are considered has common or general use, i.e. useless in any possible way to obtain money.

Copyright are different, first come first serve basis.


"The current anti-virus software protection paradigm is a reactionary system; i.e., the anti-virus software is updated to protect a computer from malware only after the malware is released."

uhhhh.......heuristics anyone?

Tired of the anti-microsoft slant. I come here for tech news posts, so enough of the MS crap already. Hear that Parker?

Maybe if next year you have to pay extra bucks for your antivirus of choice just because MS has patented the heuristic detection used by many other vendors for years, you'll remember this "anti-microsoft slant" article.

Its different. why is it people are always trying to bash microsoft? It looks like microsofts patent creates a virtual machine or something and basically tests if the virus is destructive then it quarantines it or not.

Also remember this is probably just there way of detecting virus's that is used in live onecare.

Somehow I understand why Microsoft is doing this, but it is a bit scary that ONE company is getting more and more control on everything that is going on, on your PC.

Like the US government making money off people by enslaving them in loans made out of arbitrary interest rates?
Like them putting ethanol in gas to make you need to buy gas for your vehicle more often?
Like the US importing drugs from the middle east and selling it to people on the streets?

Good business is loyal and respectful of its clients, not backstabbing and deceitful.

(Jeremy of Many said @ #3.1)
Like the US government making money off people by enslaving them in loans made out of arbitrary interest rates?
Like them putting ethanol in gas to make you need to buy gas for your vehicle more often?
Like the US importing drugs from the middle east and selling it to people on the streets?

Good business is loyal and respectful of its clients, not backstabbing and deceitful.


Somebody's watched Conspiracy Theory a few hundred too many times.

(Osiris said @ #1)
No they shouldnt, making money is what good business does.

So you're perfectly happy to pay more because Microsoft is doing good business?

Just because they're doing good business doesn't mean we should be happy about it, especially when for something that many Windows users actually need. As if Vista wasn't expensive enough, now you need to pay more towards Microsoft to protect from viruses.