Self-repairing software for the next Shellshock

Eric Eide stands in the “Machine Room” where A3 was tested

Researchers at the University of Utah ahve developed a software (A3) that can not only detect new malwares and viruses, but can also repair the damage done. And then it seals the system against such attacks again. It has demonstrated its abilities in military grade applicaitons as well. A3 is designed to protect servers or similar business-grade computers running Linux. And it does its job without taking the server down.

The software has been named A3 (Advanced Adaptive Applications). The project was done by the university’s A3 team under Eric Eide, University of Utah research assistant professor of computer science with computer science associate professor John Regehr. The project completed in last September, co-developed by Massachusetts-based defense contractor, Raytheon BBN, and was funded by Clean-Slate Design of Resilient, Adaptive, Secure Hosts, a program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

A3 runs on virtual machines and was tested against the notorious Shellshock vulnerability which it countered in minutes, including the repair time. The team tested A3 successfully on another half-dozen pieces of malware too.

With the Proof of Concept phase over, the team would like to build on A3 and find its applicaitons in cloud computing. A3 will not be available for consumer grade devices like home computers and laptops right now. But in future it can find applications in the consumer space, such as in web services like Amazon. The A3 software is open source, but Eide believes many of the A3 technologies could be incorporated into commercial products.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *