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'Cyber diversity' research aims to strengthen security
Researchers at the two universities will look at ways to change different components of a computer's software code that are transparent to users, but that introduce a kind of "genetic diversity," according to a statement from Dawn Song, an assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Such changes might not protect any single machine, but could make computer networks and the Internet less prone to outbreaks of computer viruses like Code Red, Slammer and the recent Blaster worms, which spread by exploiting known vulnerabilities in operating systems and software applications, according to Carl Landwehr, program director for the Cyber Trust program at NSF.
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