eWEEK's OpenHack III Challenge Survives 5.25 Million Attack Attempts

Argus Systems Group's Trusted Operating System Approach Protects All Four

Competition Criteria

Feb 01, 2001, 00:00 ET from eWEEK

    MEDFORD, Mass., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite more than 5.25 million
 attack attempts, eWEEK's OpenHack III survived a major test of Web security in
 its public challenge to penetrate and corrupt an Internet service provider
 (ISP) and a fictitious e-commerce site established by Argus Systems Group.
 The test was part of the newsweekly's attempt to minimize real-world Web
     An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 individual hackers failed to penetrate
 three market-leading platforms -- Sun Solaris 7, IBM AIX 4.3.3 and Red Hat
 Linux -- each of which was secured by Argus's proprietary PitBull
 intrusion-prevention system.  The Jan. 15-31 competition, audited by eWeek,
 set four criteria to determine an attack on each of the platforms.
     Argus had offered $50,000 as the top prize to the hacker who accomplished
 all four test challenges.  Not one level of the challenge was hacked.
     "Since we can't trust applications to be secure, we need to push security
 controls deeper into the very heart of the operating systems," said Timothy
 Dyck, West Coast technical director of the eWEEK Labs.  "Trusted operating
 systems show us one time-proven way to do that."
     Argus Chief Operating Officer Steve Oetegenn said: "There are many smart
 people who tested the system and were able to exploit flaws in multiple
 applications that were on the operating system.  If it weren't for the secure
 O/S, users would have been able to violate the integrity of the systems."
     Oetegenn indicated that the prize money which would have been awarded to
 successful hijacks would instead be distributed among the engineers who
 developed the Argus intrusion-prevention system.
     OpenHack III was the third in a series of tests conducted by eWEEK because
 the newsweekly feels that the only way to test Web-based security is to expose
 solutions to a real-world environment.  The first, conducted in September
 1999, evaluated the security of Windows NT 4 and of Linux.  A June 2000
 challenge included five different operating system platforms, a true
 e-commerce application and multiple layers of intrusion detection.  The
 previous challenges were hacked.
     About Argus Systems Group, Inc.
     Argus Systems Group, Inc., a privately held company headquartered in
 Savoy, Ill., offers a full suite of e-business security solutions and
 applications.  Argus is committed to providing state-of-the-art security
 solutions for emerging next economy environments.  Argus supplies the only
 trusted OS-based intrusion prevention system available to support multiple
 platforms, from desktop to enterprise server. Additional information regarding
 Argus Systems Group, is available at the company's Web site,
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     About Ziff Davis Media Inc.
     Ziff Davis Media Inc. (http://www.ziffdavis.com) is the leading
 information authority for buying, using and experiencing technology and the
 Internet.  It is the largest technology and Internet magazine publisher and
 the sixth largest magazine publisher in the United States.  The company is
 also at the forefront in creating a new generation of consumer and business
 media that educate, entertain and empower people.  In the U.S., Ziff Davis
 Media publishes 13 industry-leading business and consumer publications: PC
 Magazine, Ziff Davis SMART BUSINESS for the New Economy, Yahoo! Internet Life,
 FamilyPC, Expedia Travels, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Official U.S.
 PlayStation Magazine, Computer Gaming World, Expert Gamer, eWEEK, Interactive
 Week, Sm@rt Partner and The Net Economy.  Through a joint venture with
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 licensing; eTesting Labs, the industry leader in Internet and technology
 testing; and Ziff Davis Internet, an Internet-related development group.  The
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