DDoS defender in beta tests

Auckland company Esphion this week begins beta testing a device intended to defeat distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Company head Johnny Cates won't name the beta testers of the device, called netDeflect, but says they include an ISP, a telco and a bank. The New Zealand Defence Force is also believed to be interested in trying it out, having been briefed by Esphion on the netDeflect architecture.

That involves what the company says is a three-pronged approach: it looks for patterns in network data, and performs rules-based and statistics-based filtering. A government official who was at the NZDF briefing, but didn't want to be named, describes netDeflect's design as "a good approach" to thwarting the DDoS threat.

Cates says DDoS attacks are being reported around the world at a rate of 4000 to 5000 a week. Despite their prevalence and the market opportunity for anyone who can create a blocking device, he says Esphion is looking beyond security applications for netDeflect.

"The architecture is not just about detecting and deflecting but about analysing network packets," Cates says. There's growing demand for traffic analysis tools, he says.

Esphion, whose backers include The Warehouse's Stephen Tindall, changed its name from JSD at the start of the year as it begins to look for overseas customers.

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