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News

Malware Sample Sharing Schema Produced

IEEE Standards Association : 26 May, 2010  (Company News)
A free XML schema has been developed for the anti-virus industry for the sharing of malware samples enabling the faster delivery of protection solutions across the industry
The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Industry Connections Security Group (ICSG) today announced the availability of a free XML schema designed to facilitate the quick, cost-effective sharing of samples of malware (malicious software such as viruses, worms and spyware) by computer-security organizations. AVG Technologies, McAfee, Microsoft, Panda Security, Sophos, Symantec and Trend Micro have adopted the flexible ICSG solution as part of their efforts to more quickly deliver the protection that their users most urgently need.

"In 2009, Symantec identified more than 240 million distinct new malicious programs. The amount of time and resources that the computer-security industry spends in researching, processing and exchanging data on these millions of malicious files is substantial," said Vincent Weafer, vice president of Symantec Security Response. "ICSG's XML schema not only makes the process significantly more efficient, it also enables an organization to prioritize the threats. It all adds up to faster rollout of more relevant protection for our customers."

Anti-virus companies, Internet service providers (ISPs), law-enforcement agencies, testing bodies and other organizations can visit the IEEE standards website to download ICSG's free XML schema for use in sharing malware samples with other bodies with whom they have arranged to exchange information.

ICSG formed in 2009 as a global effort to pool experience and resources in combating the systematic and rapid rise in threats to computer security. Since then, membership has more than doubled, to 15 organizations. In addition to creating the schema for sharing malware samples, ICSG has begun developing guidelines and definitions for identifying bad or good usage of "packer" software, which is frequently used for compressing malware for hard-to-detect distribution via executable files. Other areas to be addressed by ICSG include application and Cloud Computing security and privilege-management protocols.

"ICSG has provided a much-needed collaborative environment for the computer-security industry to come together quickly and tackle our most pressing issues as they arise," said Jeff Green, ICSG chair and senior vice president of McAfee Labs. "The introduction of an easily adaptable XML schema for sharing malware samples is an important first deliverable, and we have already identified an array of other areas—packer usage, application and cloud-computing security and privilege management—where ICSG can deliver unique value."

ICSG is an activity of IEEE-SA's Industry Connections program. Through Industry Connections, IEEE-SA facilitates like-minded organizations coming together quickly, effectively and economically to build industry consensus at strategic points in a technology's lifecycle. Groups have the unique opportunity to make use of IEEE resources in a customized format, host workshops and conferences and produce varied content.

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