Information Warfare: December 16, 2002


The threat of hostile attacks on computer networks has led to the development of more powerful defensive tools. The most popular new item is the network monitoring and automatic reaction program. "Intrusion detectors" and network monitors have been around for several years, but the new angle is the ability to program your defenses to react in a certain way to certain threats. Every server and local network is set up differently, and has to react a little differently to various threats. Moreover, the tools available to hostile hackers is constantly changing, so a canned set of defenses will grow obsolete and useless quickly. The Department of Defense is buying such a new system, called Therminator, that also goes one step further by providing a set of graphic displays that show the state of your network and what kind of attack you are under, and to what extent. Therminator, in effect, looks like a computer wargame. The attacks show up, and as the system operator deploys defenses, you can see a visual representation of the result. The first Therminator systems will be installed during 2003. 


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