Feeds

Vendors sharpen tools to thwart DoS attacks

Attack mitigation

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A new breed of security products designed to mitigate the risk of denial of service (DoS) attacks is coming to market.

Earlier this week, Top Layer Networks announced the general availability of its Attack Mitigator appliance, which gives an added layer of protection that is more effective than traditional firewalls at stopping DoS, DDoS and worm attacks in their tracks.

Based on the ASIC architecture of Top Layer's multi-functional AppSwitch/AppSafe product line, Attack Mitigator ships pre-configured to recognise and effectively block the 15 most common DoS attack mechanisms. Software updates allow the device to guard against the spread of emerging threats, such as Nimda-style attacks.

The device, which would normally sit in front or corporate firewalls, is designed to block attacks through a combination of filters, content inspection and rate limiting features.

Attack Mitigator comes in two flavours: one which support up to eight 10/100Mbps connected and another, more expensive, gigabit connected device. Prices start at $10,000.

Paul Lawrence, director of sales engineering at Top Layer, said the company was targeting the legacy software firewall market with the product, which he said provides some degree of attack mitigation for firms deferring "forklift upgrades" to more secure hardware firewalls. He was careful to note that no security device can give complete protection from denial of service attacks, which are notoriously difficult to prevent.

"Attack Mitigator can't provide absolute protection but it can prevent attacks, such as SYNFlood, that firewalls were not designed to prevent," Lawrence told us. "The product is certainly not a panacea but can reduce the exposure of companies to high-level DoS attacks that even a properly configured network, with routers and firewalls set up properly, can still be susceptible to."

The shortcomings of firewalls, particularly in preventing DoS attacks, are well known to security experts and vendors are coming up with a variety of approaches to deal with the problem.

Firms like Arbor Networks, which has the financial backing of Cisco Systems behind it, are designing products that reconfigure switches and routers in response to network-based denial of service attacks, an approach best suited to the core of service provider networks. Israeli-based WanWall (which launched in Europe this month and has being backed by Intel Capital) is marketing software that sits at the core of service provider networks and filters out denial of service attacks, preventing malicious traffic reaching targeted sites.

Tools which check in-line content or provide central monitoring are also coming to market. Top Layer is competing in this space against firms like Mazu Networks.

Mazu offers an anomaly-based security solution, which Lawrence argued carried a high performance overhead compared to Top Layer's hardware-based approach. Doubtless Mazu would argue its software is more flexible.

The market for tools that prevent against network-based denial of service attacks is still in its infancy but is already becoming a segment to watch, with growth fuelled on the back of concern about the continuing prevalence of such attacks. ®

Related stories

DoS attacks getting scary, CERT warns
Tiscali attacked by DDoSers
Cloud Nine blown away, blames hack attack
Zetnet rescues Cloud Nine
Crackers exploit Cisco LAN switch flaw
Unicode bug restyled as DoS tool
McAfee declares war on Zombies

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.