atsec information security Introduces Ant-based Software Delivery

2013-04-01

Austin, TX – While research organizations around the world are working hard on topics like DNA computing, biological computers, and molecular circuitry, atsec information security once again has proven itself a vanguard of bold scientific progress in the IT sector.

During his 2011 trip to Cape Town, South Africa, atsec chief scientist Helmut Kurth spent his days in an ISO plenary meeting and his evenings in the mountains where he obtained a wild strain of ophiocordyceps unilateralis (colloquially known as the “zombie ant fungus”). Known for its curious ability to take over an ant’s brain and direct it to a different location, the fungus has been a bit of a mystery in the world of Myrmecology; but Kurth had specific plans for the fungus, subjecting it to a mixture of 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate and highly concentrated espresso used to trigger an unusual nesting behaviour of dorylus nigricans – the West African driver ant.

Kurth was able to program the ants to locate computer systems within a range of 5 miles, detect the versions of drivers installed in those systems (via version-based pheromones) and hence, whether a driver update was required and, if this was the case, get into the computer and install the driver update they carry. This effectively solves the problem of a computer that has potentially been subverted by malware and therefore is not installing the required driver updates or installing tainted updates.

Kurth commented: “People have always been afraid of new technologies. They said fire was a bad idea. They said the wheel would bring down humanity. Now they say using trained ants to deliver driver updates is crazy. But when this delivery channel is proven, the naysayers will be forced to acknowledge its obvious benefits.”

Fiona Pattinson, CISO of atsec information security corporation, added: “Keeping your device drivers up to date on all computers in an organization is one of the great challenges that many companies face today, especially in the context of supply chain security. Standards like the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) try to address this issue, but I believe our ant-based solution – working title DriverAnt - will become best practice in no time.
Driver ants are known for their collaborative talent, relentless work ethic, and a strong sense of duty. From a security perspective, they are ideal as their mandibles are well capable not only of carrying the chips, but also of dealing with any attempted information tampering or man-in-the-middle attacks.”

DriverAnt might already be in your area, but will soon be available all across America since our intern forgot to close the terrarium door.

About atsec information security
atsec information security is an independent, standards-based information technology security services company.
atsec's services include formal laboratory testing and evaluation of security assurance for commercial off the shelf (COTS) information technology including evaluations under national Common Criteria schemes in the U.S., Germany, and Sweden.
In addition, atsec operates a Cryptographic and Security Testing Laboratory providing testing to U.S. national product conformance standards such as cryptography standards approved by NIST, FIPS 140-2, FIPS 201, TWIC and the GSA Evaluation Program.
atsec also offers information security consultancy.
atsec works with any company, regardless of size or locale, that is serious about IT security.