PerspectiveComputer Science

Technological Networks and the Spread of Computer Viruses

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Science  23 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5670, pp. 527-529
DOI: 10.1126/science.1095845

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Malicious computer software in the form of viruses and worms continues to plague modern information networks. What strategies are on the horizon for controlling the digital pestilence? In their Perspective, Balthrop et al. survey the structure of computer networks and analyze their epidemiological characteristics. The most effective strategy may turn out to be a form of speed limit in which the rate of new network connections is controlled. A throttling mechanism of this sort would slow the spread of computer infections while leaving normal network traffic unhampered.