Kaspersky Labs, a cybersecurity group based in Russia, was recently awarded the patent for a hardware antivirus device that aims to keep your computer secure by attaching directly to the disk drive, below rootkit access.
Software can always be compromised, and solution proposed by the mad geniuses at Kaspersky is to put an antivirus system deeper in your computer than your infected software can reach. Here's the device, as explained the abstract for the patent:
An anti-virus (AV) system based on a hardware-implemented AV module for curing infected computer systems and a method for updating AV databases for effective curing of the computer system. The hardware-based AV system is located between a PC and a disk device. The hardware-based AV system can be implemented as a separate device or it can be integrated into a disk controller. An update method of the AV databases uses a two-phase approach. First, the updates are transferred to from a trusted utility to an update sector of the AV system. Then, the updates are verified within the AV system and the AV databases are updated. The AV system has its own CPU and memory and can be used in combination with AV application.
As some people are pointing out, the device's lack of network access means that it has to be updated via some software, somewhere on your machine, which ostensibly is just as susceptible to attack as anything else.
Still, the idea of putting a teeny tiny shield right at the heart of my computer definitely makes me feel safer from viruses. And it would also probably be a lot less annoying than my current AV software. [PC Mag via CrunchGear]