By Daniel Terdiman
September 22, 2005
Demofall HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.--Nand Mulchandani knows from network
security. His company, Redwood City, Calif.-based Determina, makes a
piece of software called the "Vulnerability Protection Suite," which
is designed to defend "networks from malware that exploits their most
common security vulnerabilities."
In other words, the package keeps the bad guys off Determina's
clients' networks and makes it safe for those clients to connect their
networks to the Internet.
And that's a good thing. After all, said Mulchandani, Determina's vice
president of marketing and business development, "The Internet is a
radioactive toxic waste dump."
But on Tuesday at the Demofall 2005 conference here, Determina may
have wished it had a little bit of network protection of its own.
As the company was onstage showing off its suite--in a demonstration
that would mimic an outside attack on a network--a real-life
denial-of-service attack hit and effectively knocked the demo offline.
According to Mulchandani, the Determina demo was being performed
across a network that had no firewall--"all the machines were hanging
off the Internet"--when what appeared to be an automated attack came
down the pipe and swamped the network with outside traffic. In the
end, the company was able to complete its presentation, though without
having been able to showcase all the features of the product.
Determina wasn't the only company whose demonstration was affected by
the attack Tuesday afternoon--a day organizers had already spent
scurrying about trying to overcome problems caused by a massive
thunderstorm early that morning--but none of the others were in the
middle of unveiling a package designed to protect networks from
It may sound like fiction, but you can't make this kind of stuff up.
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