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Computers Have Found a Better Way to Spot Emailed Malware, Researchers Say

Look out, McAfee; the next big cybersecurity software could be coming out of Israel. A group of researchers from Ben-Gurion University has published a new method for detecting malicious emails that they say outperforms 60 top-selling anti-virus programs.

Most anti-virus engines examine specific parts of email, such as attached files, as they look for malicious code that could disrupt a user’s computer if it were executed. It’s kind of like checking someone’s carry-on for contraband. While that’s the most logical place for a border guard to look, it’s hardly the only place a smuggler might hide something. Current anti-virus software misses key areas in email that are increasingly likely to carry bad code.

“Existing email analysis solutions only analyze specific email elements using rule-based methods, and don’t analyze other important parts,” Nir Nissim, head of the David and Janet Polak Family Malware Lab at Cyber@BGU, said in a press release. For instance, the number and size of attachments is a typical giveaway of a suspicious email, as is the number of recipients, since most email attackers are seeking the largest number of potential victims. But those aren’t the only indicators.

Read more at DefenseOne

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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