Security researches are asking the European Union for formal sponsorship of a new early warning system for Internet threats.

Project WOMBAT (Worldwide Observatory for Malicious Behaviour and Attack Tools) is a threat management system being backed by European technology companies and research institutions, including France Telecom, the Institut Eurecom, and Hispasec Sistemas, said Stefan Zanero, a researcher with the Institut Politecnico di Milano, who is involved with the project.

WOMBAT will offer security researchers and professionals data on emerging threats, but the team will also develop technologies for automating the collection and analysis of malware, Zanero said.

"What we are interested in is creating a way to understand as many things as possible about the malicious code," Zanero said.

Some of the WOMBAT data will be published, but only people who have been vetted will get access to the complete data set.

WOMBAT will be funded, in part, by participating institutions, but it has also been selected for funding by the European Union's 7th Framework research programme, Zanero said. The formal grant concession and the creation of the research consortium behind the project, however, have not been finalised.