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AT&T on DoS: Early Detection Equals Prevention

AT&T on DoS: Early Detection Equals Prevention
June 2, 2004

Using technologies from partners and data from its global network, AT&T has launched a service to thwart denial-of-service (DoS) (define) and distributed DoS (DDoS) attacks on corporate systems.

''We've put the platforms in place and now we're building out the products,'' Stan Quintana, an AT&T vice president of network services, told

At the center of the new offering is the Bedminster, N.J., carrier's DDoS Defense option, which is now available to large U.S. companies and U.S.-based multi-national organizations. Pricing varies depending on whether customers want a shared or proprietary environment.

DDoS Defense diverts suspect traffic without disrupting approved transactions. AT&T has integrated it with AT&T Internet Protect, a tool introduced three months ago to predict developing network intrusion threats and alert customers.

AT&T said Internet Protect has seen early success, identifying harbingers of the Sasser worm weeks before it was fully launched: it was able to warn hundreds of customers and recommend solutions, which could be executed through a secure Web portal.

Quintana said security is an essential consideration for large organizations doing business online, such as retailers, financial services providers and federal government agencies.

A 2003 Computer Security Institute/FBI study found that enterprises and government agencies cited DoS attacks as the second most expensive computer crime, costing them $65.6 million. The average enterprise loss from a DoS attack was more than $1.4 million, the study said.

The new anti-DoS tool is based on technology from Arbor Networks. The privately held, Lexington, Mass., firm's Peakflow SP Managed Services product was introduced last week in order to make it easier for carriers and ISPs to detect network breaches. Network operator MCI is a Peakflow SP customer.

Network equipment giant Cisco Systems, which has also been making a security push, also contributed to the offering, providing the products that ''scrub'' infected traffic.

Quintana said AT&T will release additional network-based tools to mitigate worms and viruses later this year.

The network security offering is the latest step in AT&T's strategy to transform itself from a carrier of consumer long-distance calls to a provider of IP services for enterprises.

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