First free, public malware database aims to boost security awareness

2013/08/29 19:34:45

Taipei, Aug. 29 (CNA) A comprehensive data repository on malicious software was launched in Taiwan Thursday to help boost public awareness of threats to information security.

The National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC), a part of the National Applied Research Laboratories, said the database, is the first to be made available for free.

"This is the world's first malware knowledge base open to the public for free," said Tsai I-lang, a research associate at the NCHC.

The repository includes data on around 200,000 pieces of malicious software and information to assist in removing over 3,000 types of computer viruses, he said.

Work began on the malware database in 2010, when the NCHC teamed up with the Ministry of Education and 20 universities to compile data and set up the system, Tsai said.

It includes 6,000 decoy IP addresses that are monitored throughout the day to detect and identify attacks.

Keeping computers and the information on them safe has become critical in Taiwan, which is often used as a base for launching malware attacks or other criminal activities because of the country's convenient geographic location and prevalence of Internet usage.

Home to some 3.4 million attacks daily, Taiwan is one of the most frequent targets of malware attacks in the world, Tsai said.

A malware attack in July hit over 7,000 government offices when it struck a central records management system, he noted.

In May, the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman by Filipino coast guard officers also sparked a battle of wits between online attackers in both countries.

Starting Thursday, businesses, academics, and ordinary citizens can apply for acces to the database from http://owl.nchc.org.tw.

(By Lin Meng-ju and Sofia Wu)
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