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BreakingPoint Systems to Upgrade Metasploit-Inspired Tool

Version 1.2 of tool BPS-1000 adds direct attacks, support for more apps, and IPv6

BreakingPoint Systems later this month will unleash a software upgrade to its breakout all-in-one network and security testing appliance that lets the device now run exploits against a server or other device.

The BPS-1000 appliance, which conducts performance, integrity, security, and conformance testing of the network and network devices, is used by several big names in networking, including IBM, Cisco, and 3Com. The initial version of the appliance ran attacks through the attached device rather than actually exploiting systems -- unlike Metasploit, the popular open penetration testing tool.

BreakingPoint’s director of security research and Metasploit developer HD Moore says Metasploit in part inspired some of the exploit features he created in the BPS-1000. (See Startup Launches Breakout Testing Tool and 10 Hot Security Startups.)

“Now you can point at a server and run attacks against it,” says Dennis Cox, CTO for BreakingPoint. “People asked us to prove that our exploits were real, so there’s nothing better than doing one-arm support for security to provide the validity of the attacks.”

Cox says the feature also lets BreakingPoint’s network equipment vendor customers use the attack feature in bake-offs with their competitors to differentiate their products for a prospective customer, for instance. “They can pick a [vendor] who doesn’t have our product and beat him up because he missed all the attacks,” he says.

Version 1.2 comes with 24 zero-day attacks courtesy of Moore and his team, and now can test peer-to-peer network traffic including BitTorrent and eDonkey, and supports IPv6, SSL, RADIUS, Common Internet File System (CIFS), and other app protocols. It can now handle over 280 gigabits of traffic.

But the biggest change in Version 1.2 is the expanded application- security and performance testing, Cox says. “Integrity of the application, and making sure it actually flows through the network correctly and securely,” he says.

BreakingPoint’s Moore is also conducting more application research for the company, Cox says. “By researching applications and developing them, he can find more vulnerabilities that way. He’s just using it as a different attack vector,” Cox says.

BreakingPoint’s appliance today is aimed mainly at network equipment vendors; security researchers who want to detect or analyze the latest attacks; and enterprises that want to verify their network load capabilities before a deployment. But so far, it’s mostly been the vendors who’ve deployed the box. That soon could change, however: Cox says later this spring, the company will expand the product line to accommodate enterprises as well.

The Version 1.2 software is a free upgrade to existing BPS-1000 customers, and comes with instant report generation, more advanced graphics, and a few other new features. The list price for the BPS-1000 is $185,000.

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