- By Michael Hardy
- Jul 12, 2004
Running down the rogues
Highwall Technologies is set to begin shipping the Rogue Detection System 2.0, which can locate unauthorized wireless access points that compromise an agency's network security.
The system also can continuously monitor a building's surroundings and detect people trying to hack into a network.
Rich Swier, chief executive officer of Highwall, said many unauthorized access points are set up by employees with good intentions who don't understand the security holes they are creating.
"Contractors come in, and they work out of the same office" as agency employees, he said. "A contractor will put an access point in there because they've got people coming in and out. The contractor is not necessarily being malicious, but they create a huge hole. It's a big risk."
Some unauthorized access points come from more threatening sources, however, including unscrupulous vendors attempting to get competitive information and hackers trying to break in.
There is a fourth source, Swier said, that may be the most dangerous: built-in wireless capabilities that users may not even realize they have in new handheld devices and notebook computers.
"If you have a [wireless-enabled] laptop and you're plugged into the wired network, I can use your connection as a gateway into your wired network," he said.
Highwall's new product features a longer detection range — more than a mile — and the ability to pinpoint access points.
As companies such as Highwall improve their products' capabilities, Swier said, hackers respond with their own improvements.
"It's [a] classic cat-and-mouse" chase, he said. "In order to be a thief, you have to think like a thief."
Trend Micro Inc. introduced InterScan Web Security Suite 2.0, which combines antivirus, anti-phishing, anti-spyware and URL-filtering capabilities into a single platform.
The product works at the Internet gateway to stop malicious code before it gets to end users. It complements e-mail safeguards that work at the same gateway level.
The new version includes measures to protect users from phishing, a scam in which e-mail messages that seem to be legitimate communications from well-known companies trick users into divulging passwords, credit card numbers or other personal information. Trend Micro's product prevents potential victims from visiting the bogus Web site to which the e-mail is linked.
It also keeps an eye out for spyware, small programs intended to capture information about individuals' Web use, to record keystrokes or to open a backdoor into the system for hackers to use later.
Simplifying the network
Officials from AlterPoint Inc. and Configuresoft Inc. are collaborating to develop an integrated solution for end-to-end configuration management of desktop computers, mobile systems, servers and network
The combined solution will draw on each company's strengths, officials said. AlterPoint will contribute the Device Authority Suite, while Configuresoft will add the Enterprise Configuration Manager. Together the two products will allow administrators at large organizations to keep centralized control over network devices and system configurations.
DataPower Technology Inc. has issued a firmware update for its XML-Aware networking hardware products. The update, Version 3.0, applies to the XS40 XML Security Gateway and the XA35 XML Accelerator.
Company officials call the strategy "Managing Operational Complexity of Real-World XML Web Services."
The firmware release includes a number of new features, including integration with Web services development environments from Eclipse and IBM Corp., point-and-click configuration of field-level security, XML schema validation improvements, a dynamic configuration interface and others.
"The 3.0 release is a new level of product maturity and makes DataPower's XML-Aware network devices easier to configure and manage than ever," said Bill Tao, vice president of engineering at DataPower.
Jump on it, drop it, throw it from a Jeep
Itronix Corp. has a new ruggedized handheld computer designed to take a pounding. The GoBook Q-200 includes built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and wireless wide-area network support.
The Q-200 is designed to be ultra-rugged, according to Itronix officials. It is powered by a 400 MHz Intel Corp. XScale processor.
The device exceeds Mil-Spec 810F specifications for drop, shock and water standards, according to company officials. Rain, snow, water, wind, shock, vibration, chemical exposure or harsh language will not break it.
It withstands sand and dust, and can endure being submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes or being drenched with up to 4 inches of water per hour, such as in a heavy rainstorm, according to company officials.
For the less rugged world, Hewlett-Packard Co. introduced the HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9500, a laptop computer with a wide-screen, 17-inch display.
It includes an integrated wireless modem and networking capabilities, and runs on an Intel Pentium 4 processor. The computer includes a variety of useful and powerful features, but users shouldn't throw it from a Jeep.