Security Investigate

Toward a Practical Technique to Halt Multiple Virus Outbreaks on Computer Networks

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Executive Summary

Malicious software, or malware, on the Internet can cause serious problems, not only for services like email and the web, but for electricity, transport, finance, and healthcare services due to their increasing Internet dependence. The author analyzes a technique to prevent multiple simultaneous virus epidemics on any vulnerable computer network with inhomogeneous topology. The technique immunizes a small fraction of the computers and utilizes diverse software platforms to halt the virus outbreaks. The halting technique is of practical interest since a network's detailed topology need not be known.

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