Japanese chip can stop PC viruses

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But cost is a hurdle.
Researchers in Japan have developed a microchip that blocks computer viruses
before they enter PCs, an advance that could change how security software is
used. Chips in routers can stop viruses without slowing down programmes
running on computers the way security software does, according to researcher
Eiichi Takahashi at the government-funded National Institute of Advanced
Industrial Science and Technology. But the chips need to be rewritable so
they can be updated with online information about new viruses, and that
creates a problem, because rewritable chips now can recognize only a few
hundred viruses each. This makes an effective antivirus chip system
prohibitively expensive, while open source software recognizes roughly
70,000 viruses, Takahashi said. "We hope the chips will be used in tandem
with existing security software," he said. "You can never have too many
different kinds of locks on the door." (Reuters 11/27/06)


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