FlashPatch: Spreading software updates over flash drives in under-connected regions

Henry Corrigan-Gibbs, Jay Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Computers in developing regions often lack the Internet connectivity and network bandwidth necessary to consistently download and apply software updates and security patches. However, even unconnected computers contract viruses and malware through the sharing of USB flash drives and other removable media. This paper introduces FlashPatch, a system for distributing software updates to computers in such areas by having software updates "piggy-back" on the existing flow of flash drives in rural regions. FlashPatch requires no changes in user behavior once the software has been installed. We implemented a proof-of-concept FlashPatch prototype and evaluated it in a field trial in Ghana. We present data on the prevalence and spread of viruses at our study site and offer experimental evidence of FlashPatch's effectiveness from a nine-month field trial. We found that FlashPatch provided additional antivirus protection to 30% of the machines in our study without imposing any tangible burdens on the system owners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACM DEV 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 Annual Symposium on Computing for Development
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450329361
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 5 2014
Event5th ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, DEV 2014 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Dec 5 2014Dec 6 2014

Publication series

NameACM DEV 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 Annual Symposium on Computing for Development

Other

Other5th ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, DEV 2014
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Period12/5/1412/6/14

Keywords

  • Delay-tolerant networking
  • Developing region
  • Flash drive
  • Malware
  • Software update
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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