Untitled Document
Not a member yet? Register for full benefits!

Username
Password
 Software That Fixes Itself

This story is from the category Computing Power
Printer Friendly Version
Email to a Friend (currently Down)

 

 

Date posted: 29/10/2009

Martin Rinard, a professor of computer science at MIT, is unabashed about the ultimate goal of his group's research: "delivering an immortal, invulnerable program." In work presented this month at the ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles in Big Sky, MT, his group has developed software that can find and fix certain types of software bugs within a matter of minutes.

When a potentially harmful vulnerability is discovered in a piece of software, it takes nearly a month on average for human engineers to come up with a fix and to push the fix out to affected systems, according to a report issued by security company Symantec in 2006. Rinard's group hopes that its new software, called ClearView, will speed this process up, making software significantly more resilient against failure or attack.

ClearView works without assistance from humans and without access to a program's underlying source code (an often proprietary set of instructions that defines how a piece of software will behave). Instead, the system monitors the behavior of a binary: the form the program takes in order to execute instructions on a computer's hardware.

By observing a program's normal behavior and assigning a set of rules, ClearView detects certain types of errors, particularly those caused when an attacker injects malicious input into a program. When something goes wrong, ClearView detects the anomaly and identifies the rules that have been violated. It then comes up with several potential patches designed to force the software to follow the violated rules. (The patches are applied directly to the binary, bypassing the source code.) ClearView analyzes these possibilities to decide which are most likely to work, then installs the top candidates and tests their effectiveness. If additional rules are violated, or if a patch causes the system to crash, ClearView rejects it and tries another.

See the full Story via external site: www.technologyreview.com



Most recent stories in this category (Computing Power):

19/02/2017: Printable solar cells just got a little closer

04/02/2017: 1,000x more efficient nano-LED offers possibility of faster processors

31/01/2017: For this metal, electricity flows, but not heat

26/01/2017: Google brings AI to Raspberry Pi

12/01/2017: Researchers turn memory chips into processors to speed up computing tasks

08/01/2017: Intel announces Compute Card – A full PC the size of a Credit Card

23/12/2016: Scalable energy harvesting of unused mechanical energy in the environment

28/11/2016: Japan kicks off AI supercomputer project