Antimalware Hardware Solution

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Q Section, Mar 20, 2011.

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  1. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    Since good Antialware solutions are welcomed and since great antimalware solutions tend to use a goodly amount of system resources (multiple engines running at the same time) - it is proposed to create and use an on-board motherboard chip/IC just for the purpose of antimalware/security. This will use resources certainly but the largest hit will be a trivial amount of electricity for running the chip and associated circuits.

    Realising this is not the first time this has been proposed perhaps some developer who has not considered this idea may see this and start the final solution.

    Yes of course there are already Hardware firewalls etc. as a separate box but an IC on the motherboard is a much better solution. Do you agree?
     
  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No - for many reasons.

    1. I disagree with your assessment that "great antimalware solutions tend to use a goodly amount of system resources (multiple engines running at the same time)". Great has nothing to do with it. All anti-malware solutions use a lot of resources - regardless if good, bad or mediocre. And sorry, but your comment about multiple engines does not make sense. It seems to assume all users are using several anti-malware solutions.

    2. Malware is constantly evolving. As such, anti-malware solutions must constantly be updated and upgraded. It is much more difficult, risky, and expensive to update and upgrade a hardware solution.

    3. Hardware requires software to run so your chip would still require software that the industry will have to agree on. Not going to happen.

    4. To be effective, every bit of data processed would have to pass through this hardware device. That would put huge demands on the system bus, the CPU and create a huge bottleneck through that device. An anti-malware solution that runs in RAM is MUCH more efficient.

    5. A chip would require all the anti-malware providers to agree to a single standard - not going to happen.

    6. A chip would require all the motherboard makers to agree to use that chip and all the chipset/BIOS makers would have to agree to support it - that would increase costs which would be passed on to the consumer. So, not going to happen. ​
     
  3. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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  4. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I don't think he meant that.
    Anyways Intel seems to agree with you (planning to put Mcafee on CPU).
     
  5. erikloman

    erikloman Developer

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    Maybe you want something like Yoggie.

    Read the Older post on that page (scroll down).

     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    On the CPU itself might work because the data goes through the CPU anyway - and quickly - though it still has to shuffle in and out of RAM, taking up resources, and CPU cycles.

    BUT - I don't think it will happen, at least not to the point where you buy an Intel CPU and automatically you are protected. That would be nice but since Intel now owns McAfee, if they were to put McAfee on the CPU, Norton, Avira, AVG, Comodo, ZoneAlarm and even Microsoft will have a valid case to bring monopolistic charges against Intel.

    And I'm not sure it would be good marketing to put it on the CPU. Putting it on a separate chip makes sense to me, compatible with both AMD and Intel based boards, just as integrated sound, I/O, and graphics devices are today.

    I can see some sort of rudimentary monitoring device that looks for patterns of malicious activity - this would be handy to ensure some protection until the boot process completes and the OS and regular security solution are in place. But I don't see a CPU feature that will replace the disk based, OS dependent (don't forget Linux can run on the same HW platform as Windows) solutions we use today - solutions that must be constantly updated with virus signatures and definition files.

    Also, for me, I like Intels. I even own some stock in Intel. But I was not happy with the multi-billion dollar purchase. Even though McAfee is the #2 anti-malware software company in the world, I don't like McAfee. Because I have my own preferences, I as a consumer want to be able to choose what I use. I don't want to use McAfee. I don't think I'm alone on that. My ISP (Cox) provides McAfee free - I don't use it.

    Intel is going to have to be very careful in how they do this - whether integrated on the CPU die, or as an add-on chip or whatever. I am sure their marketing department wants to make consumers totally dependent on Intels. But captivity and humans don't mix. The problem with bundled security software now is that many newbies get comfortable with the free Norton or free McAfee that came with their new computer then in 3, 6, or 12 months, they suddenly find their "trial period" is over and now "pay up!" or get infected! :mad: Many new users become indoctrinated into a sense of security that makes them afraid to change anything for fear their security will be compromised. It is not really a false sense of security because McAfee and Norton are fine products that do work. But they are left to believe they must pay to maintain that level of protection, and that is a false impression left there by design.

    It frustrates me in the first place that I have to concentrate so much of my computing time to keep badguys from hurting those I am responsible for, me, my network, and my computers. It think it frustrates us all but many users are afraid to seek alternative solutions or let the subscription expire. So they plunk down their money - just as Norton and McAfee had planned. Just having to pay causes frustration for some - especially if two days later they find out there are many free, easier to use, and fully capable alternatives. I happen to like MSE and Windows Firewall. Both free, fully capable, very easy to use - and neither are full of bloat.

    Those [still] reading this know there are many fully capable and FREE products out there. Because computer security affects the physical security of us and our loved ones, I find those "sucker-us-in" free trial tactics pray on the naive, and therefore are offensive. If it were illegal, we would say it prays on the fears of the weak and innocent. Extremist viewpoint? With 1 billion Windows users in the world today, more every day, just 1% is still 10 million! We're not talking about a word processor we "want", but a solution we "need" for our personal security. There are many that feel the same as me, and Intel better know that too and hopefully ensures with any integrated anti-malware solution,
    • Updates are free - forever, even if ownership changes,
    • The feature can easily be disabled by the owner - but not badguys,
    • Marketing pressure to purchase/renew does not cause the "reasonable" yet inexperienced user to believe alternatives (Read: competing products) will compromise security,
    • Does not increase the cost of the computer,
    • The technology works with and is reasonably available to all CPU makers,
    • No OS dependencies.
    My fears are consumers being stuck with Intel/McAfee or AMD/Norton!

    Now, if I am totally wrong (been there, done that, will do it again) and Intel manages to create THEE single chunk of silicon that redirects every bit of malicious code, and only the malicious code to the bit-bucket, thus bringing ALL illicit profit, malicious activity and predatory abuse on the Internet to a full stop, then I'm all for it. And the value of my shares may go up a few bucks too! ;) I just hope it is a dirt cheap solution made available for all platforms, not just Intel based. Perhaps a programmable anti-malware chip our choice of anti-malware solution can use.

    Sorry for the rambling...
     
  7. monkeybutt

    monkeybutt Registered Member

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  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Then you router becomes simply a router - which by itself, is still an excellent layer of defense.
     
  9. monkeybutt

    monkeybutt Registered Member

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    I wondered about that. I was sure that's what would happen but was not 100% sure.

    I wish ZA still made them as I would not mind having one, but at the time they were being sold I really didn't need one or want one for that matter.

    As far as Intel and AMD with hardware security they've been working on one form or another for years, and Bios's have had some sort of generic virus guard for a while, so why not some form of hardware AV of sorts?

    Although I don't truly understand the motivation for something like this from AMD or Intel, just adds another layer of complexity, and we all know that Intel/AMD never have hardware bugs that could make something like this exploitable.:p
     
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