When it comes to computer viruses, a little paranoia is a good thing – and Israeli startup Nyotron's new Paranoid solution promises to make your workplace or network impervious to any and all security threats – even the ones that haven't been invented yet!
Paranoid pulls this little miracle off by deploying a unique technology that was developed over several years, which operates inside the kernel of a computer or server operating system in real time. When installed, Paranoid becomes a part of the operating system of the computer or server. Using a unique programming language developed by Nyotron, Paranoid examines actions the operating system is about to take, putting them on “hold” for a split second to determine if the action is potentially dangerous.
And how does Paranoid know if a particular action is dangerous? Well, viruses, as varied as they are, have specific behavior patterns; attempting to hijack processes that don't belong to them, installing themselves in places they don't belong, etc. When Paranoid sees that kind of activity, it automatically puts the action on hold, checking it against a contextual map, to see whether or not the action seems “kosher.” If it does, the action is released and is allowed to do its thing; if not, Paranoid stops the action in its tracks, informing the system administrator or user of the threat.
Paranoid is thus the first – and only – system that examines the “psychology” of viruses, looking at the behavior patterns usually associated with them and preventing them from doing damage. This is actually the polar opposite of current virus programs – which download a list of threats and look at the specific behaviors of viruses only once they get into the system, checking them against a database. The great – and until now unheard of – advantage of this is that Paranoid has the ability to halt a virus on its “zero-day” - the day it is released into the wild, before it gets on the radar of the big antivirus companies. While these companies are usually able to track down a virus within days, if not hours, the update of their database is not going to help you if you pick up the virus before they get to it.
Currently, Paranoid is in beta, and users – both professional and private – are invited to sign up for the beta program at the Nyotron site. So far, $3 million have been put into the development of this software. Within the last three years, no fewer than three patents have been submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and are currently in an advanced pending state.
Nir Gaist, current CTO. Gaist founded Nyotron in 2004 and is considered one of the youngest, albeit most experienced, information security experts working in Israel and around the globe, with a record of hundreds and thousands of hacking and penetration testing operations to business institutions around the world. Gaist is only 23 years old, and is famous in the hacking community as the one who ten years ago, at 13, carried out projects for Microsoft and became a close advisor to its managers Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
“We have been looking for and developing new directions in technology, designed to gracefully handle concrete threats on the computing world and now, when we are moments before the official launch, we are very excited,” Gaist said. “So far, we have held dozens of meetings and demonstrations to senior security experts and the responses, as well as the partnership offers, amaze us every time. We sincerely believe and hope that through the software we developed, we will succeed in allowing a new PC user experience – one that will be quicker, efficient, effective and much more protected than the one possible today.”