Titan's quiet war
George Macon works with the Chris Smoak to battle computer viruses at Georgia Tech Research Institute's Titan Project.
September 11th, 2012
10:24 AM ET

Titan's quiet war

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

(CNN) – In the world of computer viruses and cybercrime the bad guys are winning. That's the bottom line of a new study which found some 90 million unique strands of malware attacking phones, computers, and networks.

Chris Smoak is trying to fight back.

[1:25] Five ten years ago it was like let's build a big wall like we used to do with castles in they day and let's make sure no one comes over the wall, under that wall or through the doors in the wall, well we can't really do that anymore.

Smoak heads up the Titan Project at Georgia Tech Research Institute. The project is housed in a small office, filled with computers and a white board with indecipherable scribblings.

It's there that a handful of Georgia Tech students and staff collect data and viruses from companies and government agencies. They analyze the code and figure out how to beat it.  Having that combined intelligence is essential according to Smoak.

[2:03]The bad guys can just can really have a field day with us if one company is attacked and they use the exact same mechanisms to another company, if those two organizations aren't talking or don't have a way to share that information, we are no better as a collective.

The Titan Project is currently in its beta stage but already they are sorting through 100,000 strands of malware a day.  It's a small dent but one that Smoak hopes might ultimately change the malware calculus.

 [3: 23] If we make it more difficult for them the hope is that eventually it will just become too difficult or too much of a pain and they can go do something else. It's not really solving the problem but it can at least help dissuade some people from doing it.

Listen to the complete story above and join the conversation below.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Chris Sales

    Nice piece. I wonder how they keep the names of the companies completely out of the public domain. Seems like that would be hard. Good to know that someone is out there doing this.

    September 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • bordeauxe

      Chris, good question and one I don't know the answer to. I'll check and thanks for reading, listening and commenting!

      September 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    "Georgia Tech University" does not exist. Use either "Georgia Institute of Technology" or the shortened "Georgia Tech". Thanks.

    September 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • bordeauxe

      Thanks, Tom. Good point.

      September 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |