Today, our client, SecureLogix Corporation, announced that its award-winning TeleSweep Secure(R) modem-vulnerability scanner is now available for free download off the corporate website.
By offering free downloads of theirr modem scanner, our client has an an opportunity to provide a no-cost tool to enable organizations to begin understanding some of the many phone line security threats to their operations.
A modem scanner (or war dialer) is a software program that systematically dials hundreds or thousands of phone numbers searching for answering modems. Before the development of next-generation voice firewall technologies, periodic modem scanning was the only method available to identify modem vulnerabilities inside an enterprise. Although these scanners retain some usefulness in identifying general modem security issues, their value is quite limited. Scanners only identify a small subset of the total number of modems inside an enterprise, and their static, "snapshot-in-time" findings are only relevant for a very brief period. Additionally, any attempt to enforce a no- modem policy through scanning is dependent upon desk-to-desk, physical inspection and removal of identified modems. And employees can easily install new unauthorized modems mere moments after search and removal. Scanners, unlike voice firewalls, provide no means to continuously monitor and block unauthorized modem connections in real time.
Comparative studies performed by our client on customer networks have revealed that real-time phone line monitoring by a voice firewall identifies 5-to-10 times the number of modems found by scanners or war dialers. For example, during a recent service engagement with a prominent financial institution, SecureLogix scanned a small group of voice T1s for modems, while the ETM System voice firewall simultaneously monitored the same lines for modem traffic. Scanning detected 20 modems, while the real-time firewall identified 117 modems. The disparity is due largely to the fact that modem scanners only detect modems that are connected and set to auto-answer, but are not in use for dial-up connectivity at the time of the scan. It is dangerously ironic that scanners cannot identify an organization’s greatest modem risk — those modems with live, unmonitored Internet connections conducting active sessions during the scan. These live modem connections are invisible to scanners, but not to voice firewalls that can detect all modems as soon as they become active on the network. Further, voice firewalls can log and block all modem activity in real time, and eliminate the threat of in- bound war dialing. Voice firewalls such as the SecureLogix ETM System also identify and block other phone-based threats like toll fraud and emerging VoIP attacks.
If you are running an enterprise with potentially "open" phone lines, give our client’s scanner a try.