Recapping Kaspersky Lab Int. Technological Innovations in 2000

18 Dec 2000
Business News

And find out what we have planned for 2001!
  • Daily Anti-Virus Database Updates
  • Firewalls Must Also Be Protected
  • Script Checker: Combating Script Viruses
  • The Year of E-mail Gateways
  • Kaspersky® Anti-Virus 3.5
  • What's on Tap for the Year 2001?
  • In 2000, Kaspersky Lab Int. has proved to be one of the leaders in the development of the most advanced technologies for the worldwide anti-virus market. During the year, the company has announced several unique anti-virus products. The existing versions of Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) have been updated and powered with new capabilities and features allowing for the creation of a secure environment for both home PCs and corporate networks of any size and complexity.

    Natalya Kaspersky, Kaspersky Lab CEO said, "this year has turned out to be an important milestone in the evolution of the company. First of all is the diversification of the company's primary activity from a single-purpose product structure to a global software vendor with a wide range of data-security products. Our product range already includes integrity checkers guarding against unauthorised changes on workstations and Web servers, and behaviour blockers creating a safe environment for programs in use. For the long-term outlook, we are planning the development of personal and distributed firewalls and access-control systems."

    The importance and the uniqueness of Kaspersky Lab technological solutions have been repeatedly recognised by various international research centres and respected computer-related magazines as well as online publications that have rated Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) the best anti-virus program in the world. The most significant to date has been the appraisal the World Economic Forum recently bestowed upon Kaspersky Lab: the title of "Technology Pioneer." Only the most advanced companies contributing much to the development of high tech are awarded with this title.

    Daily Anti-Virus Database Updates

    On 15 May, Kaspersky Lab became one of the first anti-virus companies to introduce daily anti-virus database updates - a new service available free-of-charge to all Kaspersky® Anti-Virus users. Such frequently updated databases are a considerable enhancement when compared to those of our competitors. Now a user does not need to wait several days before he/she acquires protection against a new virus: the update is available on the Kaspersky Lab Web site right after we have developed the corresponding cure module. Thus, we practically have eliminated the most dangerous period of time between the moment a virus is detected and the moment a cure module is delivered. We should emphasize that the speed with which we respond to a new threat is one of the key priorities for Kaspersky Lab. In October 2000, the successful performance of Kaspersky Lab in this field was recognised by the European centre for computer security, Secusys. According to the results of a practical test performed by this centre, Kaspersky Lab was the first to respond to new viruses, leaving competitors in our wake.

    Firewalls Must Also Be Protected

    On 31 March 2000, Kaspersky Lab introduced Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) for Firewalls, a new version of the award-winning anti-virus product for CVP (Content Vectoring Protocol) compatible firewall software, such as CheckPoint Firewall-1, Gauntlet Firewall, AltaVista Firewall, SecureIT Firewall, Guardian Firewall, etc. Now Kaspersky Anti-Virus has extended the capability of Firewalls by enabling the integration of a supplementary virus-filtering module that provides for real-time detection and disinfection of all types of malware from Internet traffic passing through firewalls by HTTP, FTP, SMTP and other protocols.

    Script Checker: Combating Script Viruses

    Mobilizing against the LoveLetter virus global epidemic on 7 May, Kaspersky Lab released Script Checker, a unique module protecting against script-viruses. Due to the integrated technology that allows for the elimination of unknown viruses, Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) is the only program in the world that has repelled the attacks of all LoveLetter virus modifications without any extra updates necessary for the anti-virus database.

    Script Checker contains two main components: the background interceptor and the heuristic analyser of script-programs. The first component is the filter integrated in-between the script program and the scripting host, and the checking for viruses in the program before it has been executed. In this way, Script Checker intercepts script-programs in the computer memory before they have been copied onto a disk.

    The heuristic analyser contains procedures allowing for the checking of unknown viruses that could be hidden in script-programs. This feature neutralises even unknown viruses; i.e., those that are not described in the anti-virus database.

    Until December of this year, Script Checker was distributed as a free add-on to the main packages; and beginning with Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) 3.5, Script Checker has been integrated as one of the program components.

    The Year of E-mail Gateways

    Taking into account the threat posed by e-mail to corporate networks and home computers in 2000, Kaspersky Lab has extended its line of anti-virus products for e-mail gateways.

    Following the release of Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) for Microsoft Exchange Server, Kaspersky Lab has developed programs for Sendmail and, later, for Qmail. The main feature of these products is their ability to operate with Linux, BSDi and FreeBSD operating systems. In addition, we must mention that the client component of Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) for Linux, BSDi and FreeBSD is supplied in source code. This allows for the integration of the anti-virus protection system based on Kaspersky Lab products into any third-party application, including other e-mail brand gateways.

    Our new product, Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) for Lotus Notes/Domino, is currently in the final testing stages. We plan to release it in the second quarter of 2001.

    Kaspersky® Anti-Virus 3.5

    Version 3.5 has been provided with three key enhancements: the updated user-interface, new anti-virus protection methods, and improved features for centralised anti-virus defence deployment and control across a network. The key element allowing for the centralised administration of anti-virus protection on the corporate network, Network Control Centre, has been improved significantly. The program has acquired several new features:

    • A system for the centralised deployment of Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) from the ground up and across the entire network on computers running Windows 95/98/NT/2000;
    • An enhanced structure of notification about network events using the MAPI and SMTP standards;
    • An enhanced opportunities for report browsing of the tasks performed for each computer on the network;
    • The implementation of a new fault-tolerance system for the significant increase in the program's robustness.

    In the latest Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) version, a new approach to the development of the user-interface has been implemented: Tree-Chart, which is based on a combination of the most advanced methods of interactive data presentation, combining the advantages of the mathematical tree and functionality, and ease of classic controls (buttons, drop-down lists, checkboxes, etc.).

    The package is powered by one more very important element: the boot system Rescue Kit that is designed to help you restore your system in case it has lost its booting abilities due to a virus attack. Rescue Kit creates a set of boot-up diskettes based on the Linux operating system, with a pre-installed copy of Kaspersky® Anti-Virus for Linux. It allows for a "clean boot," and enables a user to disinfect disks with any of the most popular file systems: FAT (DOS), FAT32 (Windows 95/98), NTFS (Windows NT/2000), HPFS (OS/2), and EXT (Linux).

    Further, Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) 3.5 has been enhanced with many other features that may not seem as significant as the ones described above, yet they still increase program reliability regarding protection from both existing and future malware. For example, this version of Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) supports Alternate Data Streams (ADS) of the NTFS file system. As stated in the Kaspersky Lab press release dated 11 September 2000, there was no anti-virus scanner allowing for the detection of malware in ADS. Despite the fact that viruses of this type are still rare, there is no guarantee that their quantity will not multiply in the very near future. Considering the threat posed by computer viruses able to penetrate the additional streams of NTFS, Kaspersky Lab has taken care of its customers before any real ADS viruses strike: Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) 3.5 is the world's first anti-virus scanner able to check for viruses in ADS.

    What's on Tap for the Year 2001?

    In 2001, Kaspersky Lab plans the further extension and enhancement of its existing line of anti-virus products, and the diversification of primary activity towards the development of software for other areas of computer security.

    A new version of Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) for servers running Novell NetWare 5 will be released in the first quarter of 2001. The main feature of this program will be the ability to install and control the anti-virus defence of a network via NDS (Novell Directory Service) using Console One. Utilisation of Java technology will allow for centralised product deployment and administration of the server anti-virus protection from any point, regardless of the installed operating system and processor type. Among other innovations will be anti-virus database updates scheduled for downloading and enabling via the Internet, and support for multithreaded scanning of objects. The last feature will allow for the simultaneous processing of any quantity of tasks implying the check for viruses in files (their quantity may be limited only by hardware capability). This condition will significantly increase the performance of the protected systems and make Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) for Novell NetWare an ideal anti-virus solution for corporate networks of any size and complexity.

    Another innovation that is expected in the first quarter of 2001 is an anti-virus filtering system allowing for the checking of viruses in the SMTP e-mail traffic. The system's originality will be constituted by the ability to protect corporate e-mail from viruses regardless of the e-mail gateway brand being used, because data will be checked at the traffic level; i.e., before it has been delivered and processed by an e-mail server. The system will support the following operating systems: Linux and FreeBSD.

    In the second quarter of 2001, we are going to finalise the development of Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) for the Lotus Notes/Domino e-mail gateways for Linux and Windows NT. Also, the first stage in the development of the personal and the distributed firewalls will be finished. The built-in anti-virus module will defend against viruses, and a system will also be able to protect data on personal computers and corporate networks from hacker attacks and other intrusions from the Internet and other local networks.

    At the same time, we are planning to release WEB Management Console, which allows for the remote administration of Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) for Linux, FreeBSD and BSDi. This system will provide fully centralised control of the program performance, settings, timetable and the order in which the anti-virus database updates are downloaded and connected. Utilisation of the Web technology will allow for the development of a platform-independent system; i.e., it will be able to operate on any computer with an operating system and processor of any type. The system will only require a conventional Internet-browser.

    Network Control Centre will also be significantly improved. The current version of Network Control Centre is only able to control the Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) versions for Windows and MS Office 2000. Subsequent versions will allow for the centralised deployment and administration of the Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) installations for other platforms: Novell NetWare, Linux and FreeBSD

    The third quarter of 2001 will be marked by the release of a Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (AVP) version for PDAs (Palm OS) and SPARC processors with support for the Solaris operating system.

    And finally, in the fourth quarter of 2001, Kaspersky Lab will release Kaspersky® Anti-Virus 4.0. In addition to the completely updated interface, we will provide our users with all the advantages of the 4th generation of the program kernel developed based on the most advanced technologies and unique architecture. This will allow us to easily transfer the program to any platform--including mobile phones, pocket computers and "smart" household appliances--in order to increase program operating speed and robustness, making it easier to connect new data-security modules.