Archive for the ‘Product’ Category

PRLog (Press Release)Oct. 5, 2013PITTSBURGHFrank Trama, President & Co-founder said “Our development team, and beta volunteers have worked very long, and hard hours while showing incredible patience shaking out bugs. We could not have done it without them. Working closely together we not only produced a rock solid upgrade but discovered new additional methods to improve upon PacketViper’s Geo IP filtering capabilities.”

 

By Francesco Trama

Below I’m going to describe the changes from 1.4 to 2.0, which has just been released, then break down those changes in PacketViper 2.0, our Geo IP filter.  I do have a little bias, but will keep it as neutral as possible.

Deployment and Installation Reviews

Fairly straight forward.  When the appliance is turned on you will notice the option to add an IP address or use DHCP.  Most customer choose the DHCP options. Once plugged into your secure LAN, and an IP is obtained, the system will display the web address for you to access.  From here you simply open a web browser and enter the address.

Once logged in you are required to register the product by clicking on a red box. This takes you to the setup area where you paste your license into.  Once applying the license, the red box goes away and you are all set. One thing to note is the PacketViper will require internet access to register. This is done using the management port interface IP address.
Once the product is registered it is recommended you perform an update.  This is simply done by clicking on the update now button in setup. Once updated, you are now set to place the appliance inline in the front of your gateway.

Schedule a brief outage, then connect the internet side to one of the bridge ports, and the other bridge port to your router/firewall. Once these are connected, you can begin geo ip filtering. You can go to its Home page and see the traffic passing.

A new installation of PacketViper hasn’t changed much from 1.4.  The biggest changes and noticeable difference is the new optimized GUI screen, starting with the log in screen. You will find the interface is more dynamic and responsive, with better color coordination.

A new installation of PacketViper hasn’t changed much from 1.4.  The biggest difference is the log in splash screen logo.

PVNewLoginReviewing Filtering, Blocking, Alerting of PacketViper

PacketViper offers you a suite of options for Geo IP filtering. We will review the features and capabilities of five of them.

Country Filtering Page

ImageReview: The clickable country map area is very simple to use.  You can choose to country filter using a clickable map, or the text version of the countries.  Using your scroll button on your mouse you can quickly zoom in and out on the map.  This makes it easier to target those small countries.  This was a significant change from 1.4.

Mousing over an area of the map displays the traffic information along with related rules, triggers  and triggers.

The map can be displayed in several different heat maps, which gives you a variety of views for you to identify how you are filtering countries;

CountryDropDownInbound: Displays countries that you have filter rules set for inbound operations

  • Outbound: Display countries which have filter rules set for outbound operations
  • Threat: shows country threat levels based your traffic.
  • Inbound Blocked: Shows the countries where you have blocked the most traffic from
  • Outbound Blocked: Shows the countries where you have blocked the most traffic To.

The map can be clicked on and ports entered on a by country basis.  A small pop up will appear where you can restrict ports specifically to and from that country. You can also use the text version of the country filtering page where you can accomplish the exact same as you would if you click on the country on the map.

CountryMap_Notes_LoggingThe Country Filtering map display the amount of traffic you dropped shown in MB and connections.  In addition you are able to add notes and display logging for any particular country.  This is a good forensic tool for digging into your gateway traffic.

CountryMap_CountryDetails2.0 added a information link, which when click displays the complete details, along with a map of that country.  Some the details provided:

Country Code
Continent
Threat Level
Network Hosts
Users
User Rank

Global Network Lists

ImageAre proprietary network lists which contains well known global businesses, and high risk networks that customers can quickly enable to allow or protect themselves from. Customers can choose to restrict these lists bi-directionally by port, trigger, and shape traffic to their business needs.

You can use the custom filter at the top to narrow your search criteria to zero in on the right Global Network Lists for your company. Global Network Lists are evaluated second.

ImageNetcheck

NetCheck can be accessed any page.  Use NetCheck to view the complete details of any IP address.  In addition, is capable of blocking the IP, Network Range, Global Network Lists, or Country by port bi-directionally. NetCheck provides DNS and IP whois, Country, Region, City information, including assigned network ranges.

Custom Rules:

ImageIs an area for customer to enter specific networks relating to their business.  Something outside of the country filter and Global Network Lists evaluation layer.  Custom rules are good to add this obscure networks which are could fall with a Global Network List which you may want to exclude for those rules.

Within custom rules you can also specific a rule and base it on the country, or Global Network lists. This allows the customer to add their our specific rules based on their business model. Customer can apply global settings, to multiple rules, create groups, and disable logging within this area.

Image

Triggers, Alerts, Honeypots, Tarpit;  

Triggers and alerts can be setup to perform a variety of task to protect your networks.  Triggers cab be set to alert you on based on a country, global network lists, IP, or port.  Each trigger can be set with thresholds to and should the be exceed can auto block, rate limit, or notify. Trigger rules can also be set a priority evaluation so they can be moved anywhere in the security chain.

Management and Administration Reviews

The GUI interface makes our product one of the easiest to manage.  With its intuitive integration of geo location database to the logs and reporting modules, customers can quickly click any IP address and see its immediate IP details.  The system is capable of exporting its logs to your own event manager, and importing PCAP files so they can be analyzed faster.

PacketViper can be configured to accept updates which best suites your business needs, multiple users, log in captcha, and many other features to simple network management.

PacketViper, LLC took the guessing out at the gateway by providing simple interface to view what traffic is accessing from which country, and it networks.

How to Get It:

Visit http://wwww.packetviper.com and request a free trial.

Review By: Francesco Trama, CEO

PacketViper 2.0 is in its final stages to be released.  Already in many customer sites, which has been made a heads turn with its optimized GUI interface and additional features. Here are some of them;

1. Country Redirection:  redirect any country traffic to some other IP on your network

2. Global Network List Redirection: Redirect any Global Network Lists to some other IP address on your network

3. Triggers based Countries or Global Network Lists:  Set triggers to fire based on activity from any country or Global Network Lists.  Use triggers to slow down, auto block, or alert you based on specific traffic.

4. Integrated mapping with NetCheck

Image

5. Newly Designed and Optimized Home Screen, and GNL area

ImageImage

6. Custom Rules based on Country and GNL’s

7. Logging Filters:  Capable of disabling logging based on specific countries, GNL, or custom rules

8. Custom Error messages for blocked SMTP traffic

9. Custom Splash pages for blocked sites

10. Outbound port fields for filtering country or GNL outbound

11. Newly designed Country Filtering area with zoom in map, hover over statistics, heat maps for simpler views of filtering.

Image

Much more…..

Francesco Trama, Chief Executive Officer

Geo IP (Country) filtering is growing more and more popular given the distribution of global network attacks. IDS/IPS systems do their best in anticipating malicious network activities. Some of problems network security teams have experienced is extended implementation times, cost, learning curves, false positives, complex management, and how to deal with distributed large attacks or the speed in how attacks, viruses, and malware adapt.

Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems (SecurityWizardy.com)
Intrusion Detection Systems form a small but critical piece of the computer security jigsaw, alerting to intrusions and attacks aimed at computers or networks.  They’re not the computer security panacea.  But, they are your eyes and ears, essential in knowing whether you are under attack. Intrusion Prevention Systems take this concept to the next level and sit inline blocking the packets you tell them to based on signatures as per the IDS.  They can be highly effective as a defensive tool but need to be configured with great care and attention in stages…… Read More

Unfortunately there is no silver bullet in network security! Network Security needs to be approached in layers, and most will say it should look like this:

  • Firewall /NDIS (network Intrusion and Detection)
  • Email Scanning
  • Web Security
  • Sever Level Virus
  • Workstation Virus
  • Patch Updating Systems
  • Attentive Employees
This is where I believe security environments fall short, and why Geo IP (country) filtering layers are vital in the network security. I’m not saying to throw some broad stroking country blocker into your environment, what I am saying is having a robust Geo IP  filtering system, which is granular and simple to operated! Blindly blocking country ranges is just not practical if you are a global business.

Our security layer looks like this

Image

I’ve seen several vendors which have integrated Geo-IP filtering into their appliances, but when you actually start using their Geo-IP tools you quickly realize their Geo-IP is not the products strong point. Some would say it was added only for marketing reasons, even not taken seriously.

In the small Geo IP (country) blocking market there really is not too much to choose from. It seems most of the products consist of downloading some sort of list regularly, then applying them to a firewall. The lists come in many different formats to accommodate the varieties of firewall systems. There are many problems with these services like accuracy, manual updating, implementation complexity, support, and troubleshooting to name some.

I’ve also seen services, which provide you code for your web site. The code is inserted into your web pages, and as traffic accesses your web service, it’s evaluated, and filtered like a country RBL. These types of services, although creative seem they would generate more traffic, just like RBL services do. I’m sure in a very small percentage would be useful useful, but high-volume web servers would suffer. Not to mention you are only protecting the web server, and it would need to be applied to all web servers. The few hardware-based products I found range from; little to no country filtering smarts, to price points in excessive of 75K. The higher priced product I found seems to claim 50-100K is the right price for country filtering? I would emphatically disagree.

Because we do not to have many choices when it comes to Geo IP (country) filters, we could conclude country filtering is not really important to firewall manufacturers. In fact, it seems the perception is ” Geo IP (country) blocking is impractical ” and unnecessary in some circles. I couldn’t disagree completely.

If I would tell you there is a product which;

  • Low cost
  • Inline and Transparent
  • Fail open NIC’s
  • Used on your own hardware
  • Filters countries by port bi-directionally
  • Includes alerts, country/network/ip triggers, honeypots, tarpits, country redirection
  • Complete with its own global network lists of well known/bad networks
  • Web based and accessible from mobile devices
  • Purchased as an appliance or downloadable software
  • Works in VM Environments.

Wouldn’t you get it immediately?

Viper Network Systems (VNS) launched a product called PacketViper in 2011 we does exactly what everyone has been missing, per port geo IP filtering,  The product quickly installs into most hardware platforms, or can be purchased as an appliance. PacketViper likes to sit in front of the security environment, to clean up the unwanted traffic before entering.

Viper Network Systems ripped a few pages out of VMWare ESXi, and released PacketViper Starter. It’s completely free, and never expires. You wonder what the catch would be? No catch other than some limitation on how many countries you can block at once, NetCheck (IP Search/Block feature), Global Network Lists are limited, and a couple of other minor limitations. Other than that the product is free to use.

PacketViper was built for security teams to quickly respond to global threats in real time. Frank Trama, President & Co-Founder whose roots stem from network administrations, design, and management found there was need that needed to be filled. Partnering with Dan Gynn, now Chief product Officer & Co-Founder turned this need into an incredible and practical product call PacketViper, a security layer I cannot see my network without. The products’ focus is Geo IP (country) filtering with a style and grace not seen in any other product in the market today. PacketViper fills the gaps which all environments are missing.

PacketViper blocks countries by simply clicking on a map, setting which ports to block/allow (all or some), and clicking apply. It’s really that simple. There is so much more though like real time clickable logs, which you can quickly select and see the complete details of the IP, which is called NetCheck;

Image

NetCheck is the feature administrators have been waiting for. The cure-all for understanding the IP origins, its assigned network ranges, and much more. NetCheck can quickly block the IP or every registered network range it’s assigned to. A great tool when you want to eliminate complete spamming networks. We could go on for a while with its features, just check them out at here.

So is country filtering impractical? Let’s all admit it. IP Blocking is a pain! What the folks at Viper Network Systems did is put it all together in an affordable package. Image what happens when you start filtering out the unwanted country traffic (SQL management port attempts from China, RPC attempts from Russia, Telnet attacks from Romania, spam from Africa and Brazil). IDS/IPS experiences fewer false positives, which can be dialed in better to become more effective, spam and system loads are reduced; bandwidth is freed up of unproductive global traffic, and network security is further hardened. Why you ask? It’s simple; you reduce the attack space to your exposed ports in your security environment. There is less intention analysis needed.

If you filter out just 30% of the unwanted traffic to your internet facing servers and devices. That’s 30% you do not have to worry about again, then dial in the country blocker like PacketViper to drop 50% of your global traffic. That’s 50% less you have to sift through, 50% fewer loads on your security systems, and 50% fewer chances of malicious traffic finding a vulnerability.

Why would you then allow that obscure country access at VPN, FTP, and the thousands of other ports? I can tell you wouldn’t or wouldn’t want to. This is why smart country blockers are important and needed. —-Frank Trama

Overall Geo IP (Country) blocking can be practical and should be a required layer for every security environment. Personally, I cannot see any of my environments without this feature. For full disclosure, I have the product and contributed to its design.

CEO & Co-Founder
PacketViper, LLC

The preconception we always run into is that Geo Location filtering is more cumbersome than its worth.  If you would have told me 5 years ago “You should block countries“, I would be the first one to push back.  It was such a nightmare if you turned off a country given the global makeup of business. We had to rip out the pages and start new when building PacketViper, and knew the fight would be more the preconceive thinking of country blocking.

PacketViper solved the problem of filtering countries by allowing customers to drop or allow specific ports.  This started new security layer called the Geo IP filtering layer. Piling on features such as per port Global Network Lists, Custom rules, Triggers, and alerts which can be assigned to countries, and Global Network Lists. This created a new layer of defense that improved current environments with out having to rip or replace the existing security environment.

Here’s a video I created that shows how PacketViper helps.

By Francesco Trama

As I sit driving back from Chicago thinking about everyone we met at ASIS, and the excitement from the new customers we signed on.  It’s nice to see something you believe in, and worked so hard on is appreciated and beneficial to our customers. PacketViper is the solution every one has been missing because it solves simply a big network security problem.

Image

 

 

By Francesco Trama

Wouldn’t it be nice instead of getting thousand of proxy port scans a day, you get a handful?  That”s one small thing we do well.