Update: Tools used by software developers

August 14, 2006

Tools used by software developers to test for faulty design are now being employed by hackers to discover unknown vulnerabilities, a security firm has warned.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools are designed to mimic humanintelligence by trying to force abnormal responses in applications todetermine if bugs are present. But this methodology, known as "fuzzing",is now also being widely used by hackers, who are sharing their findingswith the underground malicious community in instant relay chat rooms "torapidly develop new threats", according to Secure Computing.

As more and more exploits emerge, vendors will find it difficult torelease fixes in time. "Fuzzing will clearly accelerate the ability forhackers to discover new vulnerabilities in software applications," saidPaul Henry, vice-president of strategic accounts at Secure Computing.

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