: The Making of Beneficial Network Worms"> Aitel acknowledged potential problems with the concept, noting that worms are very hard to write and use large amounts of network bandwidth. Because worms are harder to target and control, he noted that IT administrators live in constant fear. The concept includes the use of "Nematokens," servers that are programmed to only respond to requests from networks cleared for attacks and the NIL (Nematode Intermediate Language) that can be used as a specialized and simplified "assembly for worms."This will be part of your security teams toolkit," Aitel argues, noting that his companys work is "research-level proof of concept" that details the theory and theology of using beneficial worms. "If you look at the security cost of maintaining a large network, most CIOs agree its way above what they want to pay. With this [nematode] concept, you can take advantage of automating technologies to get protection for pennies on the dollar. Thats the drive behind developing a lot of these new forward-looking technologies," Aitel said. "Nematodes are a step beyond the next step. Were two stages away from using this," he added. "The goal has always been to build the network that protects itself automatically with automated technologies. Were certainly not more than five years away from this sort of technology becoming something that you can buy." "We already have an engine that takes exploits and turns them into worms and does it in a way that allows you to inject control mechanisms into that. Thats something that will appeal to businesses. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
The NIL can be used to convert exploits into nematodes quickly and easily. In some cases, Aitel believes that exploits can be written to NIL directly to simplify the process even more.