ZeroPoint is the malware cure that could be worse than the disease

The internet is, on balance, a very hostile place. More than 70 percent of all email traffic is spam, and a fair portion of that is malware and phishing attempts. One 2012 census counted 1.5 billion browser-based malware attacks. A recent Team Cymru map of globally compromised computers showed nearly all of Italy lit up, with southeastern Europe glowing from the sheer quantity. None of this is particularly dangerous if you take modest measures to protect your computer, but it’s a strange state of nature — and an expensive one. Most appraisals put the global cost of malware in the tens of billions. Antivirus solutions mostly protect individual nodes or networks, shifting the attacks around but doing little to combat the core of the issue. Larger companies can keep blacklists and spread best practices, but they’re limited solutions. Every time a botnet gets shut down, a new one springs up to fill the gap, slightly smarter than the one before.

As a result, many in the malware world are looking for a better line of defense — and increasingly, they’re looking to telecom carriers as the answer. This fall, the Canadian SecDev Group took the stage at a Google Ideas conference to unveil their latest answer, a machine learning program known as ZeroPoint. Instead of sitting on your computer or your email server, ZeroPoint sits on top of the whole network, at the DNS or carrier level. (For the trial version, they partnered with Bell Canada.) From that vantage, it sees everything, including undiscovered variants and zero-day exploits that have never been spotted in the wild.

via ZeroPoint is the malware cure that could be worse than the disease | The Verge.

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