Digital ants as network guards


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Digital Ants as Network Guards

There will not be a single reader reading this article having the pleasant(!) experience of an ant bite. If not experienced yet I think he had lost half of his life!!! OK, let it go. You might have noticed the movement of ants. They move like marching soldiers in an orderly manner till an external disturbance occurs. Some of them may be carrying food stuffs greater than their weight( Yes, I think only ants can carry about six times more weight than their body weight).Ants secrete a substance called pheromones. The ant coming behind follows the path of his predecessor exactly by smelling this pheromone. That is why you see all the ants follow the same path. So pheromone secretion is the communication way between ants. Now if some one disturbs the ant's rally intentionally do some harm to their dwelling definitely he will have to run away from the place within seconds.

I told this much to make you aware about the behaviour of ants. Like this a technology is going to be introduced which is called as DIGITAL ANTS . This digital ants will run through the computer networks. They will not get sugar or sweets, but will get stomach full of viruses and worms in the network. I am not mocking. The idea was put forwarded by Glen Fink of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland of Washington. PNNL is actually a Department of Energy Labs, conducting various researches and experiments in cyber security field. Along with Glen the Wake Forest University (WFU) Computer Professor Mr.Erin Fulp and his students are getting ready for the experiment. Initially the testing will be carried out in a network having 64 nodes attached to it.

The method of response of ants when someone disturb them was the inspiration behind the suggestion. The concept is called SWAM INTELLIGENCE .Thousands of digital ants will be posted randomly in the network. The digital ants will also have pheromone like communication methods. It is called DIGITAL TRAIL . The whole data will be analysed by segmenting through parallel processing methods. When a virus or worm or a malware is met by a digital ant it will begin to produce digital trail. The quantity of digital trail will increase proportionally according to the degree of threat. Hence other digital ants in the network will also get information quickly and will concentrate their attention to the point of notice. The company claims that if the idea is fulfilled this will be the fastest actingsecurity system than the ever introduced so far.

The digital ants work with the help of a software called SENTINELS . They are controlled and co- ordinated by a colony of digital ants called SERGEANTS .Let us wait and see these ants running through our networks.

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