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Telefonica's new offering: We will penetrate you by surprise, every day

'Not now, Cato!'

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Mobile network giant Telefonica has launched new business unit Eleven Paths, which promises unprovoked attacks on customers every day, in the interests of greater security.

Eleven Paths will be semi-autonomous within Telefonica, and will provide ongoing penetration testing to subscribing customers (think businesses, not mobile phone owners) - using the latest tools and vulnerabilities to attack their networks, just as the hackers do, then telling them how it was done.

The unit comes out of Telefonica Digital, the arm of the telecommunications giant charged with finding a sustainable business model beyond phone calls. It's supposed to be new, but is really comprised of an established business acquired by Telefonica, Informatica 64.

Informatica 64 created the (free) FOCA toolkit, an open source tool used to analyse documents hosted on a web site in order to chart the network architecture hidden behind the corporate firewall.

Metadata in Office documents can map network shares and printer names, EXIF data can reveal paths and patterns, all of which is invaluable to the external attacker.

Informatica 64 also sells "MetaShield", an application for stripping such data before the files leave the safety of the office, for companies concerned about the existence of FOCA.

But now they're with Telefonica the 25 Informatica staff will be known as Eleven Paths, and focused on a subscription-based approach to security. Just as Inspector Clouseau was kept vigilant by his servant Cato's daily attacks so Eleven Paths - like any decent penetration-testing outfit - will keep companies alert.

That's for the moment, but Eleven Paths has mobile security in its sights too. CEO Chema Alonso refused to say much about those plans, only that the mobile security market was underserved and that Eleven Paths would seek to address that too. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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