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StorageTek Network Systems Group thwarts 'Ping of Death' hacker tool.


Data Storage and Security Experts Quickly Deliver

Solution to Protect Vulnerable Operating Systems

Responding to a new security threat that overloads and crashes computer operating systems, the Network Systems Group of Storage Technology Corp. (NYSE:STK) has developed a new Net Sentry and PCF security module that filters out dangerous software packets before they knock out the system.

The new filter will work with Network Systems' BorderGuard or Passport security devices, and is available immediately as a downloadable module from the company's Web site ( This filter also works for PCF, the precursor to NetSentry.

More than 20 major operating systems and other network devices have been victimized since October by the denial-of-service attack known as the "Ping of Death." This hacker tool has been used to crash, reboot or otherwise shut down a large number of systems by sending an oversized "ping message" from a remote machine. Attacks have affected UNIX, Windows NT, Windows95 and Macintosh computers, as well as X Terminals, NetWare printers and routers.

Without knowing anything about the target machine other than its Internet Protocol (IP) address, the "Ping of Death" can exploit systems by sending a software packet greater than 65,536 bytes. While "ping" messages (technically ICMP echo) have been a primary culprit, the system's vulnerability can be exposed by any device that sends an IP datagram, a fundamental building block of the Internet.

To combat the new threat, StorageTek has developed a new NetSentry and PCF software filter that blocks fragments of ICMP packets with large amounts of data. The filter only allows pass-through for appropriately sized packets, preventing an attack by packets that contain more data than the host's ICMP handler can manage.

"With the rapid growth of Internet and intranet systems, companies need a data security vendor that can respond quickly to new threats," said Walt Hinton, vice president of marketing for Network Systems Group. "Our unique NetSentry and PCF packet filtering software is designed to prevent Ping-of-Death type attacks, and it's an important reason why customers choose our BorderGuard and Passport security devices. Routers and firewall hosts cannot provide the same critical level of security."

NetSentry and PCF are powerful network security technologies that provide packet filtering and firewalling for standards-based networks. Offered as a standard software module with StorageTek Network Systems' BorderGuard and Passport security devices, NetSentry allows network administrators to regulate IP traffic on an internetwork. NetSentry is the only packet filtering technology that can assure security-conscious customers that traffic not explicitly defined as valid will be blocked under all circumstances.

Used with a Passport network switch, NetSentry offers customers the first high-speed security solution, running 50 to 100 times faster than older firewall host technology.

The "Ping of Death" filter is available immediately. Additional information on BorderGuard, Passport, and the "Ping of Death" is available from the StorageTek Network Systems Group Web site at

Storage Technology Corp., based in Louisville, Colo., designs, manufactures, markets and services, worldwide, information storage and retrieval systems for enterprise-wide computer systems and networks. StorageTek's Network Systems Group helps organizations avoid risk through the application of data protection technologies. StorageTek reported revenue of $1.93 billion it its fiscal year ended Dec. 29, 1995. Information on StorageTek is available on the World Wide Web at and

CONTACT: Tim Marklein Tom Gau

Applied Communications StorageTek

415/375-8881 612/391-1198
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 25, 1996
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