SBC Creates Anti-Hacker Lab

With online security alerts and virus attacks at an all-time high, SBC
Communications on Monday launched an anti-hacker research
center aimed at protecting consumers and Internet networks from security
violations.

The Dallas, TX-based telecommunications giant said the Internet Assurance
and Security Center (IASC) laboratory would mimic servers, firewalls and
other structures of an ISP to detect and neutralize attacks and unwanted
content from carrier networks.

SBC, which has teamed with mega-portal Yahoo for a
high-speed and dial-up ISP
services
said the anti-hacker lab was created in response to the rising
tide of Internet security violations, such as viruses, worms and
denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.

Citing statistics from the CERT Coordination Center which shows that
Internet security violations more than double each year, SBC said the
Austin, TX-based research center would uncover new and innovative ways to
expand the scope and effectiveness of cyber-security technology.

“Internet and network security violations are at an all-time high, and the
problem demands our immediate attention,” said Fred Chang CEO of SBC
Technology Resources, the company’s R&D arm that will be managing the
center.

Immediately, the IASC lab plans to will focus on developing security
technologies and standards that can be applied throughout large
telecommunications networks that handle Internet, voice and data traffic for
consumers and businesses.

While the majority of anti-hacking efforts are targeted towards end-users,
SBC said its research facility would support a holistic approach that covers
all elements of the targeted network. Ideally, officials expect the lab to
produce some early anti-hacker technologies within 18 months and expanded
innovations in three to five years.

About a half-dozen researchers would work towards anti-hacking advances in
network-based platforms. “Security functions could be shared among multiple
subscribers on a network, relieving some of the burdens placed on individual
users to take security precautions, and ensuring that all subscribers are
protected by the latest technology,” the company said.

It is operating under the premise that attacks and unwanted content could be
stopped in the carrier network, preventing congestion of subscriber links.
SBC engineers also believe security technology components in different parts
of the network could correlate information and collaborate to thwart
attacks.

“In addition to investigation of security technologies and systems in
general, the IASC will focus on approaches for embedding security components
in the network,” the company said.

The company, which provides wireline and wireless telecommunications
services and equipment, found security components in several parts of its
network could be designed to detect unusual flows of traffic converging on a
particular customer. “Once it is determined that this behavior is a
distributed denial-of-service attack, the network could automatically filter
the offending traffic from multiple locations,” SBC explained.

Another area of focus for the IASC would be the creation of new security
specifications for telco equipment providers. The plan is for the IASC to
work with vendors to encourage widespread adoption of security standards for
their components, creating a “designed-in” element of security that will
protect networks from the ground up.

It said the IASC would serve as a hub for collaboration with existing
security research efforts in government, academia and industry.

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