Feeds

McAfee declares war on Zombies

Bish bosh DDos attacks

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

McAfee, the antivirus division of Network Associates, has teamed up with other security firms to protect the Internet from Zombie agents and the like.

Of course we're not talking about the flesh eating deadites from George A. Romero films, rather zombie software which hackers use to seize control of computers and launch distributed denial of service attacks on Web sites, such as those inflicted on eBay, Yahoo! etc. back in the early months of last year.

McAfee has begun development efforts with DDoS solutions providers Arbor Networks, Asta Networks and Mazu Networks to "create a more comprehensive solution through which enterprise service providers and Internet data centers can combat DDoS attacks and zombie agents".

It is hoped the work will lead to the development of threat management products, which not only monitor for anomalous traffic entering a network (to identify if an attack is taking place), but also detect the presence of zombies within a network.

So what we have here is an agreement to achieve better integration between McAfee's antivirus software and traffic monitoring products from those of its vendors. This concentrates very heavily on looking to restrict the prevalence of Zombies on client machines, as useful step but difficult to achieve in practice because of (let's face it) user stupidity.

If you doubt that then consider the continuing prevalence of viruses like the SirCam worm.

What McAfee is doing is likely to be restricted to its users alone, so while welcome it's not the breakthrough some have painted it as, just another piece in a bigger picture.

The consensus among security professionals is that denial of service attacks are almost impossible to prevent, but there are quiet a lot of measures you can take to minimise their impact, many of which are deployed at the target of attacks rather than Zombie infected clients.

Chief among these is the use of more sophisticated routers and switches, such as those developed by Top Layers networks and their ilk, which can selectively drop types of traffic connected with an attack.

Neil Barrett, technical director of security consultants Information Risk Management, said even this approach is limited because hackers might find it possible to change the type of flooding an attack generates.

Barrett said key to preventing DDoS attacks is the work of Internet Engineering Task Force which is working with manufacturers to make sure attacks can be blocked at the backbone router level, so that the load of dealing with traffic generated by attacks is taken off border gateways and firewalls. ®

External Links

McAfee Teams With Industry Leaders to Create End-to-End Solution For DDoS Attacks

Related Stories

Leading security expert on the end of DDoS attacks
MS DDoS 2.0 - it was Bloomberg what done it, people say
DDos degrades the Net
The Mother of all DDoS attacks looms
Chinese crackers May attack US warns FBI
Hacktivist group jumps on the DDoS bandwagon

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.