Milan Vojnovi? and colleagues from Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK, want to make useful pieces of information such as software updates behave more like computer worms: spreading between computers instead of being downloaded from central servers.
The research may also help defend against malicious types of worm, the researchers say.
Software worms spread by self-replicating. After infecting one computer they probe others to find new hosts. Most existing worms randomly probe computers when looking for new hosts to infect, but that is inefficient, says Vojnovi?, because they waste time exploring groups or "subnets" of computers that contain few uninfected hosts.
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