Justin Rattner, Intel's chief technology officer, says the chip maker is developing a security game changer that will stop all zero-day attacks. He would not give many details about the new technology, but he did say that he hopes it will be ready to be released this year, and he managed to hype it up quite a bit for ComputerWorld:
"I think we have some real breakthrough ideas about changing the game in terms of malware," Rattner said. "We're going to see a quantum jump in the ability of future devices, be them PCs or phones or tablets or smart TVs, to defend themselves against attacks." And the technology will be hardware based, though it's still unclear if it will have a software component. "Right now, anti-malware depends on signatures, so if you haven't seen the attack before, it goes right past you unnoticed," said Rattner, who called the technology "radically different". "We've found a new approach that stops the most virulent attacks. It will stop zero-day scenarios. Even if we've never seen it, we can stop it dead in its tracks," he said.
All we know is that the technology won't be signature-based malware detection, but this isn't anything new: heuristics have been used alongside malware signatures for a long time now. It's the hardware aspect of the claim that has us interested, though we're not sure the feat can be achieved without at least some software.
Because zero-day attacks, which refers to malware that exploits security holes that do not have known signatures, tend to be quite successful, Intel could indeed revolutionize the security industry if this new technology is as good as the company says it is. We don't think the hardware giant would be making such bold claims if it wasn't indeed ready to unveil something big. After all, Intel didn't buy McAfee for $7.68 billion without at least some sort of plan in mind.