Feeds

McAfee buys whitelisting firm Solidcore

If you're not on the list, we're not going in

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Net security firm McAfee has bought whitelisting firm Solidcore for approximately $33m in cash, rising to $47m if sales targets are met.

The deal was announced Friday, and is expected to close by the end of Q2 2009. It will allow MCafee to offer endpoint security technology to a broader range of embedded devices, including ATMs, point of sale (POS) systems, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Whitelisting technology ensures that only pre-authorised software and code (ie known safe applications) can run on devices. The approach is an alternative to looking for either the signature or behaviour associated with known bad applications - the more traditional blacklisting approach of anti-virus scanners, intrusion prevention tools etc.

It's an elegant idea, but it can come unstuck, particularly in corporate desktop environments, where a large variety of legitimate and often changing applications might be running on PCs.

The whitelisting approach has much more in its favour when applied to embedded devices, where typically only a closely defined list of applications need to run. After all you're not going to run OpenOffice - much less Doom - on an ATM or SCADA device, assuming such a thing were possible.

The security of control systems at utilities that rely on SCADA technology has become a topic of concern over recent months, with anonymous Feds spinning the line that overseas intelligence agencies have hacked into the US national grid, for example.

The Solidcore acquisition allows McAfee to offer products designed to mitigate against these types of attack, as well as arguably more pressing concerns about malware on retail sales terminals. McAfee plans to integrate Solidcore’s dynamic whitelisting and compliance enforcement technology with its existing compliance mapping and policy audit tools. The acquisition will also allow McAfee to beef up its product portfolio in virtualisation security, using Solidcore’s technology for locking down virtual environments. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.