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New Linux tool boosts security

A small Australian company releases Linux-based security gear that could speed corporate acceptance of the open-source operating system.

By Nicole Bellamy

A small Australian company has released a Linux-based security tool it hopes will help speed corporate acceptance of the open-source operating system.

InterSect Alliance has developed the first security auditing system for Linux, beating much larger organizations to the punch. Its new tool, SNARE (System Intrusion Analysis and Reporting Environment), is the first intrusion detection system to reside on individual computers rather than a network, according to Leigh Purdie, principal security consultant for InterSect.

How do the two systems differ? While a network-based detection tool enables the consumer to determine when an intrusion is being attempted, the host-based system allows the consumer to identify when an intrusion has been successful.

Purdie said the lack of such a security tool has hindered corporate acceptance of Linux.

The SNARE system is designed to "enhance an organization's ability to detect suspicious activity by monitoring system and user actions," according to InterSect.

Purdie said InterSect will provide privacy recommendations as a part of its training for the product. "Privacy is critical in a lot of institutions," he said. "When we provide solutions, we recommend one of the things (companies) implement is staff contact--to let staff know what is happening, why it's happening, what data is being used for."

Staff writer Nicole Bellamy reported from Sydney.