Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab Granted Its First European Patent

28 Dec 2011
Product news

Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, announces that it has been granted its first patent in Europe. Patent № 2228722 covers both a system and method for monitoring computer file integrity based on timestamps. This technology significantly reduces system load during both scheduled and on-demand anti-virus scans. Only new or changed files are checked, with no resources being spent on known legitimate objects scanned previously.

The decision of whether to scan certain files or not is based on when a file is updated, i.e., its timestamp. The widespread existing approaches to determining this information are unreliable, since many malicious programs are able to change a timestamp to conceal signs of infection.

The patented technology utilizes a special interceptor, which tracks programs’ requests to alter the timestamp of a file or a group of files. The information about the number of such changes is then transferred to a special module (usually a component of anti-virus software), which is able to compare a timestamp-counter reading and the timestamp itself. If the timestamp-counter reading increases, while the timestamp itself remains unchanged, this is a signal of a possible malware infection. In this case the anti-virus software can further check the affected file for presence of malicious code and/or alert the user about the possible danger.

This patent is notable for being the first to be granted to Kaspersky Lab in the European Union. Nadezhda Kashchenko, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Kaspersky Lab ZAO, and Patent Attorney, said: “There is a widespread belief that obtaining a software patent is very difficult or even impossible in light of current restrictions put in place by the European Union patent office. Historically software patents have been granted more often in the United States than in the European Union. Despite this, the patent system in Europe exists albeit with many restrictions in place that make the process difficult to navigate. Nevertheless, we have proven that in spite of the difficulties, Kaspersky Lab’s approach in defining the scope of invention rights can be successful”.

At present another 34 patent applications are being evaluated by European patent offices. This latest addition brings the total number of patents Kaspersky Lab has been granted worldwide to 88.

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