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11/24/2003
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ForeScout Introduces Linux Appliance To Guard Against Worm Attacks

The Linux software guards against worms by watching for inappropriate activity on the network.

ForeScout Technologies hopes to put an end to those nasty worm infestations plaguing corporate networks.

The channel-only company says its new WormScout recognizes and suppresses worm activity at the network perimeter and barricades active worms within a network to stop future infection.

"[The trick in stopping a worm attack] is to suppress and contain the worm even before you know it is called 'Blaster,' " said Kent Elliott, CEO of San Mateo, Calif.-based ForeScout, referring to this summer's Blaster attack that crippled corporate networks worldwide. "You've got to stop it even before you know you have an infection through your network."

WormScout searches for inappropriate activity on a network, such as the scanning worms often incorporate in looking for a vulnerability. "It is very sensitive to the reconnaissance activity, and as soon as it comes in WormScout responds with a counterfeit resource," Elliott said. "The worm will then come back, thinking it has found a vulnerability, and WormScout immediately blocks and contains it."

WormScout--a software appliance using a hardened Linux platform--can sit at various places on the network, depending on its purpose, Elliott said. "It can suppress a worm [outside the network], contain outbreaks in particular cells within a network, or stand in front of critical cells to ensure malicious code is not able to penetrate."

Typically, however, the product will sit at the mirroring port or span port on a switch, said Tim Riley, vice president of business development at ForeScout.

WormScout can work in tandem with ForeScout's ActiveScout perimeter antihacking solution, which the company released last year. But while ActiveScout is touted by the company as a "set it and forget it" solution, Riley said WormScout takes more knowledge to see where a company's traffic is on its network.

ForeScout is $9,995 for a single instance, and multipacks are available at reduced prices, Elliott said. ForeScout has a tiered channel program that offers product and maintenance discounts depending on a solution provider's level, and the company is currently working with about 60 channel partners in the United States.

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