MIT Lincoln Lab releases network security tool

MIT Lincoln Laboratory has developed a Network Security Analysis application known as NetSPA to help identify potential avenues of attack in computer networks.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory has developed a Network Security Analysis application known as NetSPA to help identify potential avenues of attack in computer networks.

NetSPA (for Network Security Planning Architecture) uses information about networks and the individual machines and programs running on them to create a graph that shows how hackers could infiltrate them. Although system administrators can examine visualizations of the graph themselves to decide what action to take, NetSPA analyzes the graph and offers recommendations about how to quickly fix the most important weaknesses.

NetSPA relies on vulnerability scanners, such as Nessus, to identify known vulnerabilities in network-accessible programs that might allow an unauthorized person access to a machine. Fast-spreading worms, for instance, often take advantage of weaknesses in servers or operating systems to spread from one machine to another. But simply being aware of vulnerabilities is not sufficient; NetSPA also has to analyze complex firewall and router rules to determine which vulnerabilities can actually be reached and exploited by attackers and how attackers can spread through a network by jumping from one vulnerable host to another.

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Will the real [Breach X] please stand up?

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Do you remember that classic game show “To Tell the Truth?” It was great and trying to figure out who was the “real” person was always a challenge.

Unfortunately Visa and MasterCard are making all of us play the same game of late. There have been recent rumors running rampant (alliteration anyone?) about another data breach of a credit card processor (coverage: SCMag, Dark Reading). Allegedly on the scale of Heartland and that is bothersome. Especially when we can’t get any information from the banks or payment card brands. So we are forced to call is “Breach X” for the time being.

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