BLACK HAT - European project eyes WOMBAT to manage online threats

A new European project, called WOMBAT, aims to track malicious software attacks.

Researchers are looking for formal European Union sponsorship of a new project that would keep an eye on malicious software and computer attacks around the world.

Project WOMBAT (Worldwide Observatory for Malicious Behavior and Attack Tools) is a threat management system being backed by European technology companies and research institutions, including France Telecom, the Institut Eurecom, and Hispasec Sistemas, said Stefan Zanero, a researcher with the Institut Politecnico di Milano, who is involved with the project.

WOMBAT will serve as an early warning system where security researchers and professionals can get data on emerging threats, but the team will also develop new technologies designed to automate the collection and analysis of malware, Zanero said.

"What we are interested in is creating a way to understand as many things as possible about the malicious code," Zanero said.

Some of the WOMBAT data will be made available to the public, but only those who have been previously vetted will get access to the complete data set.

WOMBAT will be funded, in part, by participating institutions, but it has also been selected for funding by the European Union's 7th Framework research program, Zanero said. The formal grant concession and the creation of the research consortium behind the project, however, have not been finalized.

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