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We are getting closer to November 3, the date we chose as the cornerstone of the Antimalware Day celebration. This is a new global initiative from ESET to celebrate the birth of computer defense techniques; as a reminder, it was on that day in 1983 when the history of computer viruses began, as part of a university experiment by a student named Fred Cohen. This event immediately led to the search for countermeasures against the newly created virus. This was our inspiration and motivation behind Antimalware Day as an annual celebration.
A good way to celebrate the date is by acknowledging the daily work carried out by our researchers and experts, as they strive to create a safer technological environment. How do we contribute to the notion of antimalware? Carrying out cutting-edge research projects focused on creating more public awareness of threats that take advantage of technology, and especially the internet. And, of course, providing our users with the tools to protect themselves.
The story of Dr. Fred Cohen’s experiments back in 1983 is a fascinating one, and even more so when his lecturer, Prof. Leonard Adleman, came up with the term “computer virus” to refer to a malicious program for the first time, thus coining the term. This story took place in a university laboratory and, keeping in mind the parallelism, today we want to share with you the answer to a question that we constantly receive from our community: what is a malware research laboratory like and what exactly happens there?
To be more specific, how do the ESET laboratories around the world work to detect and study computer threats?
Surely, when you hear the expression “research laboratory” the first thing you imagine is an isolated space, sterilized, with high metal tables full of containers, test tubes and tools neatly arranged. And if this were the case… wait, I can explain it better with this video:
In fact, PCs and mobile devices act as a substitute victim so that the malware freely executes every action written in its code. This way, researchers can observe its natural behavior and find defense techniques against its malicious actions, which they can later communicate to users to prevent them from becoming victims.
Therefore, as far as space is concerned, a cybersecurity laboratory is not far from a common office, since computers and many screens are needed. But its role is fundamental, since it is the place where the development of antimalware protection techniques begins.
At ESET, the lab is the foundation of the work we do to detect and analyze malware, with the aim of providing our community with the correct information so they are always aware of the trends of computer threats and know how to protect against them. The information you read every day here at WeLiveSecurity comes, in large part, from the efforts of our researchers in different parts of the world.
To see what a malware research laboratory is like and how it works in more detail, we have prepared an animated video that will show you just that… and how researchers can recognize possible patterns or trends that help you to use technology more safely.
Do not miss this video to learn how a malware research lab works.
Author Santiago Sassone, ESET