News Column

Patent Issued for Method and Apparatus for Notifying a Recipient of a Threat within Previously Communicated Data

September 11, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventor Banerjee, Anindya (Pune, IN), filed on June 2, 2008, was published online on August 26, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8819823, is Symantec Corporation (Mountain View, CA).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments of the present disclosure generally relate to a method and apparatus for alerting one or more recipients that a threat was transmitted along with previously communicated data, such as a message.

"In a typical computer system, there are many potential threats (e.g., malicious software code or malware (e.g., viruses, worms, Trojans and the like), spyware, PHISH, SPAM and/or the like) to one or more computers. A potential threat may be a network-based threat that is distributed throughout the typical computer system. For example, the network-based threat may comprise malware that is designed to propagate through a computer network using numerous techniques, such as attaching to outbound data, such as outbound message data (e.g., emails, instant messages and the like), hiding in a process that uses network resources in order to be distributed among other computers in communication with the infected computer, opening a socket and moving to another computer, and/or otherwise hijacking a component of the infected computer. A network-based threat may be a virus, PHISH or SPAM that is communicated to a recipient via email or instant messaging software applications.

"When a threat is detected at a particular computer, one or more security software programs perform various tasks to identify and mitigate the network-based threat. For example, such security programs may be configured to quarantine the network-based threat from critical areas of memory on the infected computer and/or remove the threat altogether. Security programs may also notify a user of the infected computer and/or a security service (e.g., online security subscription) as to the detection of the network-based threat. In addition, the security programs may halt or terminate processes that require a connection with a network (e.g., the Internet), such as a browser window, messaging software, an email client application, a file-sharing program, and the like. Accordingly, the user is prevented from exchanging data such as instant messages, files, and/or email with other computers.

"Such security programs, however, do not notify a recipient computing device that it has received a network-based threat transmitted via an email or instant message from another computer. The recipient is therefore most likely unaware of the arrival and/or presence of the network-based threat. As a result, the network-based threat may be causing harm to the recipient computer or may be lying dormant in preparation of an attack on the recipient. Unfortunately, the recipient experiences a significant amount of disruption in productivity and/or damage to the recipient computer during the time period before the network-based threat is detected and/or removed.

"Therefore, there is a need in the art for a method and apparatus for notifying a computer data recipient that a threat was previously communicated to the recipient."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to a method and apparatus for notifying a recipient of a threat within previously communicated data. In one embodiment, a method for alerting recipients as to a potential threat comprises analyzing information regarding network activity amongst at least two computers to determine a threat communicated to a computer of the at least two computers and notifying the computer as to the communication of the threat."

For more information, see this patent: Banerjee, Anindya. Method and Apparatus for Notifying a Recipient of a Threat within Previously Communicated Data. U.S. Patent Number 8819823, filed June 2, 2008, and published online on August 26, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Symantec Corporation.

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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