A team of scientists at Wake Forest University in North Carolina have designed and begun testing a computer software antivirus program that they believe could offer a foolproof solution against computer viruses.
They based their design on the theory of an ant colony, where when one ant meets with an intruder or possible predator, the rest of the ants team up and take out the unwanted and unwelcome visitor. They are currently running tests on this sort of “swarming philosophy”.
According to Errin Fulp, who works as a computer science Professor at Wake Forest, he’s training a digital ant army to tune into a computer’s power grid and combat viruses that they find in the system.
The idea behind this technology has already been acknowledged for its potential, and if it proves to be successful, then it could be spread to all kinds of SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) networks as well as computer systems that control things like waste management, public transportation, manufacturing, and water management among others. In fact, the magazine Scientific American said it was one of “ten technologies that have the power to change our lives”.
Over the summer, Fulp will work with more scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington on the next steps of developing this anti-virus program.