Genetics-Inspired Research Prevents Cyber Attacks


Wake Forest University computer science professor Errin Fulp and graduate student Michael Crouse work together to develop a new type of computer security code that mimics natural selection as it adapts to threats. (Credit: Ken Bennett, Wake Forest University photographer
ScienceDaily (Feb. 14, 2012) — Cyber security is an ever changing and growing concern. Nearly twice as much cyber security funding proposed in the 2013 budget underscores the need for improved computer network defenses. Inadequate security configurations are blamed for 80 percent of the United States Air Force network vulnerabilities.

Now Wake Forest University researchers are fighting the continual evolution of viruses, worms and malware with evolution by developing the first-ever automated computer configurations that adjust as quickly as the threats.

Computer Science Associate Professor Errin Fulp and graduate student Michael Crouse are refining a genetically inspired algorithm that proactively discovers more secure computer configurations by leveraging the concept of “survival of the fittest.” Early simulations have shown the increased diversity of each device’s configuration improves overall network safety, without putting undue stress on IT administrators.MORE

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