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December 3, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Delaware start-up Raptor Systems Inc claims to have developed a security system similar to ones in place only at the US National Security Agency and AT&T Co. Furthermore, it says, its device would have prevented those Dutch teenagers from hacking their way into the Pentagon’s computers and copying sensitive information during the Gulf crisis. Raptor describes its product, Eagle, as an active security firewall on a local area network. It denies access to all unauthorised computers. According to president John Shepard, Eagle sits at the critical choke point between the local net backbone and the outside world, and is transparent to the user’s authentication scheme. Eagle includes proprietary software and two Sun Microsystems Inc boxes connected by a proprietary serial link. One machine acts as a gatekeeper to the local network, the other an authorisation database. The latter is accessible only to the systems administrator. Activity monitoring is constant and Eagle sends out audio and visual alarms when unauthorised action is attempted. It also provides an unusual activity report, time-authorised access and trace-routing after three failed attempts at entry. Sessions are killed if an authorised machine attempts an unauthorised privilege. Eagle was originally designed for Internet, where connections are growing at 20% a month, supporting IP packets. It also supports TCP/IP, X25 and SNA packets from public and private networks. The local nets it protects are heterogeneous. Eagle is also being converted to run on IBM Corp’s RS/6000 as an alternative to Sun’s and an intranet security system dubbed Eaglet is expected in January. Eagle will cost $75,000 per local net.

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