ISP Rise Against P2P Users

April 17, 2006

There are pungent comments, criticism, satire, etc to those ISPs and telecom operators on their blocking, filtering and even passive attitude to P2P, from all over the internet. However, from the stand of ISPs, they have a lot of broken-hearted story to tell to their subscribers, shareholders, and those regulatory authorities. It seems that the earth has been divided into two camps: one is P2P pros, one is the P2P cons. But who is the judge ?

See an absorbing discussion named ISP Rise Against P2P Users at slashdot.org. The below is some excerpt…

bananaendian writes “Spencer Kelly from BBC’s Click program writes about the emerging backslash against high bandwidth P2P users. Apparently it has been estimates that up to one third of internet’s traffic is caused by BitTorrent file-sharing program. Especially ISPs who are leasing their bandwidth by the megabyte are more inclined to resort to ‘shaping your traffic’ by throttling ports, setting bandwidth limits or even classifying accounts according services used. What is your ISPs policy regarding P2P and is it fair for them to put restrictions and conditions on its use.”

ISP: Backslash
P2P: Forward slash. Riposte.
ISP: Touche. QOS Packet Filtering!
P2P. Lunge. Encryption!
ISP: En guard. Subpoena compliance.
P2P: Aahaaah! Ubiquitous Mesh Networks.
ISP: Arrrgh! [dies].

Where is BadAnalogyGuy when you need him?

Hello, Dad? I’m in jail.


IM reviews at IM Watch

April 12, 2006

There are flooding IM clients waiting for your choice, isn't it? But which one do you like? which one fit your interests the best? I believe you must not have time to review them on by one. In fact, even if you have time, you just won't like to do that. 🙂

IM Watch is doing that for you. It lists out and reviews almost each one you have heard of, (except the most popular one at China – QQ of Tecent,) covering Gtalk, Skype, GAIM, AIM, Unyte, Gizmo Project, Chatzilla, Psi, PhoneGaim, Yahoo Messenger, …..

For a more comprehansive collection of various IM clients, see Betanews


Facetime Enterprise Edition won SC Magazine’s “Best IM Security” award for 2006

April 6, 2006

IT and security managers are paying more and more attention to those threats introduced by the blooming IM and P2P applications. The demands pump the growth of IM/P2P security market. The acquisition of IMLogic by Symantec bolstered the morale of vendors and VC in this area. The independent biggest boy – Facetime is striving to make their bigger fortune by release of their newest version of IMAuditor Enterprise Edition 7.0.

FaceTime IM Auditor

It’s a “Comprehensive Solution for Managing Inbound Threats, Information Leakage and Regulatory Compliance”, with “broader support for IM including Skype 2.0, WebEx support for logging and archival of chat sessions within a web meeting, and enhanced reporting for multiple public and enterprise instant messaging solutions including Microsoft Live Communications Server, IBM Lotus SameTime, Reuters, Parlano, and Jabber.” remarked at marketwatch. See the following feature changes at IMAuditor 7.0:

  • — Administrator Dashboards — Role-based dashboards in IMAuditor 7 provide a snapshot of key traffic and configuration information to administrators and reviewers, allowing them to monitor operationsand easily drill down for further details.
  • — Enhanced Visibility and Reporting — Enables organizations more detailed visibility with several new security reports for SpIM, Day Zero URL blocking and Restricted Phrase filters. Allows creation of customer reports in either table or chart formats, and also enables scheduled delivery of reports in HTML and .PDF formats.
  • – New User Interface (UI) — All Enterprise Edition components now share a consistent UI with special emphasis on usability and ease of navigation. The user interface has been designed to anticipate common user actions and provide logical groups of related operations to help administrators accomplish their tasks more effectively and in less time.
  • — WebEx Support — Ensures compliance by logging and archiving integrated WebEx chat sessions using existing messaging archiving solutions.
  • — Skype 2.0 and QQ Support — Utilizes behavioral-based detections of session behavior and other attributes to allow enterprises to control and enforce policy on the latest versions of Skype and QQ communications. — Anti-virus Scanning — Adds support for Computer Associates eTrust to the list of supported third-party products for virus scanning of IM-based file attachments.

See detailed product description at Facetime.com.

It’s very impressive to find Skype2.0 and QQ in its support list. Skype is the most toughest P2P application to detect and control, while QQ is the most popular IM application in China.

“There will be more and more of these (greynet) applications coming on to the market, while other IM networks such as Yahoo were starting to add Skype-like features to avoid detection.” TechWorld reported.

“The adoption of instant messaging applications and their rapid convergence with P2P, VoIP, and Web conferencing technologies can expose organisations to significant business risks,” agreed Robert Mahowald of IDC.


VoIP in China

March 22, 2006

There was a report on "VoIP in China" at TMCnet.com and Theregister retailed it yesterday. VoIP technology is a revolution brought by the IP prevalence. It lowers the operation costs of both the carriers and the consumers. See my previous post on "Skype blocked at China", where I expressed my points on the way in China for Skype and other web phones.

In fact, the revenue growth of those two fix line operators (China Telecom and China Netcom) depends on their broad-band internet access and some of the value-added services. But the growth of such two kind of services can not fill the revenue hole by voice revenue decline. Especially when the leading mobile operator – China Mobile claimed a few days ago that they would by far lower their roaming and inbound call price. That's a hard time for CTG and CNC, hurted by the "replacing consumption". The contribution of their PHS products is just to collect money by burning more money.

At 2007, the main four operators will get their own 3G licenses. And the consolidation and upgrade of their BSS/OSS systems will be reaching a milestone to support more multiple-play products. It's a critical point for CTG and CNC, who have huge scale local communication networks. Theoretically they will have a fair competition base.

Currently there are a drastic argument at engadget.com, arose by a post on "China gives VoIP two year sentence". I agree and appreciate the comments from Terence and LG and etc. China never ban Skype, never claim Skype illegal. People can use Skype just as other part of the world. China just doesn't want to grant such a license to permit INTERCONNECT with PSTN. That's the right of a government to decide when and how to grant such licenses, no business with the socialism and politics. Read the rest of this entry »


UTM (Unified Threat Management) Definition

November 14, 2005

According to IDC, UTM (Unified Threat Management) security appliances are defined as:

UTM security appliance products include multiple security features integrated into one box. To be included in this category, as opposed to other segments, the appliance MUST contain the ability to perform network firewalling, network intrusion detection and prevention, and gateway antivirus (AV). All of the capabilities in the appliance need not be utilised, but the functions must exist inherently in the appliance. In these products, the individual components cannot be separated. 

Basically, UTM security appliances are charactered as some integration of the follow 6 features in one boxes:

  • * Firewall – these devices are typically deployed at the network perimeter, and therefore robust, stateful firewall capabilities with NAT are required.
  • * VPN – often deployed as branch office solutions on a corporate WAN, the ability to create a small number of secure VPN tunnels is essential.
  • * IDS/IPS – a firewall only enforces policy, and if that policy includes allowing inbound HTTP traffic to Web servers on the DMZ, then there is nothing the firewall can do to prevent HTTP exploits from subverting the target Web server. The IPS capability will detect and block such attempted exploits at the network perimeter, preventing the malicious traffic from ever reaching the server. An IDS-only capability can detect exploits and raise alerts, but will be unable to block the malicious traffic.
  • * Anti Virus – gateway Anti Virus prevents inbound virus traffic at the edge of the network, thus reinforcing desktop security solutions and blocking viruses before they reach the desktop. This solution can also prevent infected machines from propagating viruses outside the corporate network.
  • * Anti Spam – gateway Anti Spam can tag inbound e-mail, allowing it to be handled more effectively by desktop filtering solutions, or can block suspected spam mails completely. This solution can also prevent internal hosts from sending spam mail outside the corporate network.
  • * URL Filtering – using a constantly-updated database of categorised URLs, a gateway URL filtering solution can prevent employees from accessing objectionable or inappropriate Web sites from the corporate network  
  • * Content Filtering – by scanning Web and mail traffic for specific content, a gateway content filtering solution can prevent objectionable or inappropriate material from passing into, or out of, the corporate network.