Internet security holes widen

Internet security holes widen

Abstracts of Recent Arficles and Literature Internet security holes widen, Laura DiDio. Experts say that due to the increased use of the internet and...

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Abstracts of Recent Arficles and Literature

Internet security holes widen, Laura DiDio. Experts say that due to the increased use of the internet and electronic commerce businesses face an ever-widening array of potential security threats. Hackers’ newest tricks include attacks on Web servers and browsers; back-door holes into netork operating systems; denial of service attacks; logic bombs and Trojan horses. What makes these threats more ominous is that today’s hackers do not have to be nearly as computer-proficient as their predecessors from five years ago. Would-be hackers can simply search the Web for step-by-step instructions on how to carry out attacks. Experts agree that no network is impregnable. They warn that data should never be stored in one place and no one person should be given access to all information. Computerworld, 2 March 1998, pp. 3 7,39. Cisco strives to secure the enterprise, Bob Wallace. Netorking industry giant Cisco Systems has added a new weapon to its arsenal of network Fecurity products by acquiring for $124 million WheelGroup, maker of NetRanger, a hardware/software probe that detects unauthorized attaempts to access networks and notifies information system managers. The company has also developed NetSonar, which scans for network security gaps throughout corporate networks and offers managers options for plugging them.The acquisition allows Cisco to round out its security product line, which already includes firewalls and security servers. Computerworld, 2 March 1998,~~. 41,42. Certifiable, Joe Paone.The International Computer security Association (ICSA), formerly kown as the NCSA is planning to post lab reports on its Web site ( to show users the trials that vendors must successfully pass in order to achieve ICSA product certification. ICSA hopes to demonstrate that its certification of firewalls is not easy and that certification processes improve the quality of software. A forprofit but independent organization, ICSA has been certify-ing firewalls since 1996. Currently it is testing 45 products. LAN Times, 11 May 1998, p. 45. Adoption of S/MIME still lagging, Barb ColeGomolski. S/MIME is the de facto standard for securing E-mail over the Internet and is widely supported


in popular E-mail packages. But few users are implementing the protocol. Experts point out that most users are accustomed to sending E-mail messages without encryption Beacuse electronic commerce is not yet a mature market, there hasn’t been a good business reason to use S/MIME. Few companies have installed a public key infrastructure or have an enterprise directory. Also S/MIME has not yet received approval from the internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Moreover, there are other contenders for the mantle of dominant messaging security protocol, including Open Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). Computerworld, 11 May 1998, p. 29. Putting a firewall in firmware, David Newman. According to Berkeley, network managers no longer have to choose between speed and security.The vendor claims that its Firewall Accelerator Agent (FAA), when integrated with Check Point’s Firewall-l , allows for data delivery up to 40Gbits per second.There are good reasons to believe that it will. The module is capable of sustaining aggregate rates of at least 1 Gbit per second according to tests commissioned by Berkeley and conducted by LanQuest. Its approach also allows load-balancing among multiple switch/ firewalls. However, despite having released test results, Berkeley has yet to release the FAA module. Also, Berkeley is up against plenty of competition in the high-speed firewall market, from Bay Networks, Nokia Silicon Valley, Xylan and Neo Networks. Data Communications, May 1998, pp. 44-46. The Achilles Heel of next-generation satellites, Christy Hudgens-Bonafield. Despite having invested billions of dollars in infratructure, most providers of next-generation broadband satellite have failed to seriously consider the problem of security. A survey of the leading broadband satellite companies shows that most are unwilling to discuss security, others only provide rudimentary information. Competition is one reason why satellite companies are keeping tight-lipped, but the main reason is that the main players are still grappling with the issue. Some hope the mix of traffic and networking schemes will discourage intruders. Another possibility is that satellite companies hope to win permission to launch their satellites with strong encryption and then negotiate to whatever encryption