Researchers at IBM have come up with a way of stamping out the worms and viruses plaguing our desktops, without using antivirus software.
Instead of blocking dangerous software from entering systems, as antivirus software does, the Assured Execution Environment (Axe) works from the inside out. It is embedded into the operating system kernel and checks every piece of software run on the machine to ensure only authorised code is used.
That means it simply will not run any code that has not been pre-configured into an Axe-friendly format.
The downside of the new approach is that it could add to the workload of IT administrators, who would act as a central point to verify that applications are authorised. Analysts such as the Yankee Group, however, suggest that this "white list" approach of authorised applications is likely to become popular with security product manufacturers.
IBM aims to pilot Axe next year.