Researchers at BT have developed a monitoring tool that identifies viruses carried by e-mail which have, as yet, remained undetectable by existing anti-virus systems.
The tool, VENUS (which stands for Viral Email Network Utilization Symptomizer) monitors an intranet email system for ‘symptoms’ of any viruses, both new and unknown, that have penetrated normal anti-virus defences, and then proactively prevents their spread within the company.
‘Until now, software designed to detect and remove viruses could still let new viruses through, because it would look only for the effects of known viruses – and as such, by its very nature, could not spot any behaviour that was previously unknown,’ said Mike Carr, a BT director.
Furthermore, once VENUS detects that a computer is infected, it will prevent the user from sending further e-mails, until the root cause has been identified and fixed.
VENUS performs these functions without the need for any human intervention, and works across all types of e-mail servers.