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Aventail Founded to Support Internet Related Network Security Protocols; Begins Shipping Beta Version of Industry's First Commercially Supported Windows-Based Product to Automatically socksify Existing Applications; Aventail to Introduce AutoSOCKS Family of Network Access Management Products for Private Intranets.

CAMPBELL, Calif--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 6, 1996--Aventail Corporation, a recently formed vendor of network access management products for private intranets, today unveiled plans to create a family of Windows-based Authenticated Firewall Traversal products utilizing the emerging SOCKS network security protocol.

The new products will provide enhanced access control capabilities for communications traffic entering and leaving a corporate intranet.

SOCKS v5 is an open IETF authenticated firewall traversal proposed standard (RFC 2928). Version 4 is currently supported in many of the world's leading firewall and Internet software applications. SOCKS acts as a proxy mechanism to ensure managed and secure communications through firewalls.

A beta version of Aventail's first product, AutoSOCKS IV, is now shipping from Aventail's Web site ( AutoSOCKS IV allows users of SOCKS-enabled firewalls to "socksify," or socks-enable, their 16-bit Windows client applications. AutoSOCKS IV is the industry's first commercially supported socksification application for Windows.

"Before the introduction of AutoSOCKS, network administrators who wanted to socksify their Windows client workstations were forced to compile their own executable SOCKS code utilizing publicly available reference versions of the SOCKS specification," said Evan Kaplan, Aventail's president and co-founder.

"These 'roll-your-own' solutions are difficult to implement and are unsupported. By introducing the industry's first commercialized socksification agents for Windows clients, we provide network administrators a single accountable source for support, troubleshooting, and updates."

The current version of SOCKS, version 4, will soon be updated to version 5 and is the proposed internet standard by the IETF. Version 5 builds upon the firewall traversal capabilities of SOCKS version 4 by adding support for strong authentication such as but not limited to Kerberos, and encryption. Aventail will introduce products supporting both SOCKS 4 and SOCKS 5.

Aventail to Roll Out Complete AutoSOCKS Family

Aventail will initiate beta testing of several new members of the AutoSOCKS family during the next two months. Following an initial beta testing period of 45 days, the products will be marketed to corporate end-users, firewall vendors, WinSock application vendors, systems integrators, and value added resellers.

The first product, AutoSOCKS IV, is nearing the completion of its public beta testing period and will begin shipping this month. Also this month, Aventail will initiate beta testing for a new 32-bit version of AutoSOCKS IV for Windows 95 and Windows NT. In June, Aventail will begin beta testing 16 and 32-bit versions of AutoSOCKS V, Aventail's SOCKS 5 auto-socksification programs for Windows 3.x, Windows 95, and Windows NT clients.

Aventail's entire AutoSOCKS family is architected around the Stardust WinSock Component Architecture (WCA), which provides an open development framework for software vendors looking to add extended functionality to their WinSock enabled applications. Aventail is the first company to license the WCA from Stardust.

How AutoSOCKS Works

AutoSOCKS is a firewall traversal application for Windows-based TCP/IP Intranet and Internet applications. Utilizing the WCA, it transparently socksifies Windows applications so that they can have secure access to external networks. AutoSOCKS works by intercepting WinSock communication requests issued by applications, and processing these requests based on a set of rules. WinSock is the open communications API that manages communication between Windows-based applications and TCP/IP.

By processing requests based upon a set of rules, AutoSOCKS can provide managed access through SOCKS servers. By routing communications through a single centralized network access point, these SOCKS servers can provide a robust foundation for a host of new network access management applications, including auditing, statistical analysis, traffic analysis, chargeback accounting, network capacity planning, intrusion detection, database integration, alarms, and network administration.

Aventail Founded By Three Internet Software Pioneers

Aventail, which is privately held, was co-founded by Evan Kaplan, Martin Hall, and Karen Milne. Kaplan serves as president. Prior to founding Aventail, Kaplan was the executive in charge of Networking, Unix Connectivity products, and Corporate Development at PC connectivity software developer WRQ of Seattle, WA, where he is credited with helping to build the company from $19,000,000 in annual sales in 1990 to over $100,000,000 today.

Martin Hall is chief technology officer for Stardust Technologies and is the creator of the WinSock API, an open industry specification for managing communications between Windows software applications and the TCP/IP protocol.

Co-founder Karen Milne has held senior positions with JSB, Insignia Solutions, and Unisys. Karen Milne and Martin Hall are co-founders of Stardust Technologies of Campbell, CA., where they will continue in their present positions of president and chief technology officer, respectively.

Stardust operates the WinSock Labs, an independent technology testing and consulting center for Windows Internet software developers. Over 30 leading Internet software vendors are members of the Stardust WinSock Labs, where they work together to ensure the interoperability of their WinSock-enabled Internet software applications.

AutoSOCKS Pricing

AutoSOCKS is distributed electronically from Aventail's Web site, and can be evaluated for 30 days. Corporate site licenses, which provide support, maintenance and update services for one year, are expected to be priced at $20.00 per node for 1000 nodes.

About Aventail

Aventail Corporation was founded in 1996 as a vendor of SOCKS-enabled network access management products for private intranets. The Aventail AutoSOCKS family of software products provide transparent socksification for Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and Windows NT desktops. The company has offices in Seattle, Washington and Campbell, California, and can be reached by phone at 206/524-0841 or 408/879-8093 and by fax at 408/879-8081. Aventail's Web address is -0-

Note to Editors: Screen shots are available by calling Mark Coker at the number below.

CONTACT: Dovetail Public Relations

Mark Coker,408/395-3600


Aventail Corporation

Evan Kaplan, 206/524-0841
COPYRIGHT 1996 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 6, 1996
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