By Stephen Lawson
& Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
Security experts at AT&T are about to take a page from CNN's playbook.
Within the next year they plan to begin delivering a video streaming
service that will carry Internet security news 24/7, according to the
executive in charge of AT&T Labs.
The service, which currently goes by the codename Internet Security
News Network, (ISN) is under development at AT&T Labs, but it will be
offered as an additional service to the company's customers within the
next nine to 12 months, according to Hossein Eslambolchi, president of
AT&T's Global Networking Technology Services and AT&T Labs
ISN will look very much like Time Warner's Cable News Network, except
that it will be broadcast exclusively over the Internet, Eslambolchi
said. "It's like CNN," he said. "When a new attack is spotted, we'll
be able to offer constant updates, monitoring, and advice."
The online video channel will feature interviews with AT&T security
professionals, as well as experts from a variety of different
organizations like network hardware vendors and the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).
All the while, news on the latest security vulnerabilities will stream
across the bottom of the screen, much like the ticker symbols used by
TV news networks, Eslambolchi said. "You will see... what viruses
exist and where they came from," he said.
AT&T also plans to provide its own analysis of Internet security
threats, culled from probes of AT&T's massive TCP/IP networks that can
be used to help predict where and when attackers will strike with new
exploits. "We extract intelligence and knowledge from the network and
we do data analysis, data mining, and we do artificial intelligence on
the network," Eslambolchi said. "We use that to create a cybersecurity
index to see where these worm and viruses and phishing and pharming
attacks are coming from."
While a number of information services and Web sites monitor Internet
security, nobody has managed to develop a single point of contact that
addresses all security concerns, said Andrew Jaquith, senior analyst
with The Yankee Group in Boston. "There is really no good, consistent
source for security information on the Internet," he said.
AT&T's streaming video service would be the first attempt to meet need
by using video, Jaquith said. "This sounds like something pretty
innovative to me. Personally, I'd check it out."
ISN is part of a larger research and development effort within AT&T to
build new ways of protecting networks from attack. Called the "Cyber
Security Defense Initiative," the effort has produced a number of
technologies that the company is using to strengthen its TCP/IP
network, Eslambolchi said.
Eslambolchi likened the effort to former U.S. President Ronald
Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, also known as Star Wars. "My
strategy in AT&T is the Star Wars concept because I am not in a cold
war with these crooks anymore, I am in a nuclear war," he said. "Every
time they form a nuclear missile, I have to know where they are going
to hit me and I have to devise a new defense mechanism."
Using a Cyber Security tool called the Traffic Analysis System, AT&T
was able to anticipate the Sasser worm outbreak 12 hours before it hit
the Internet last year, Eslambolchi said.
Later this month, another Cyber Security technology called Cloaking
will go live, making it much more difficult for attackers to hit
AT&T's Internet backbone, Eslambolchi said. "None of the routers on
our backbone will have any big Internet routes in them," he said. "Our
routers will never be visible to these crooks or anybody else."
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