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Anti-Hacker Technology Race Heats Up

for immediate release 16 October 2001


An Auckland start-up company is racing against time to counter hackers and cyber-terrorists.

JSD's netDeFlect is headed for beta testing later this month and New Zealand businesses could be amongst the first to test this latest innovation in data security.

The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology assisted with a $100,000 grant through its Grants for Private Sector Research and Development scheme (GPSRD).

According to Johnny Cates, Chief Executive Officer of JSD, if the development and testing sequence moves fast enough, netDeFlect, with some unique features, will be one of the first products of this kind on the world market.

"We know we're racing against other developers, but we've got some interesting solutions that will make us stand out from the others," he says.

JSD's chief technology officer, Juergen Brendel claims the hardware and software package will act as a defence against hackers' ability to target massive amounts of malicious traffic at their victims, usually originating from large numbers of unwitting, compromised machines, so called Zombies, which the attacker has brought under control.

"These kinds of attacks are also known as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and operators of attacked networks and web sites usually do not have any viable defence against them. The massive flood of network traffic eventually consumes all available resources of a network, consuming bandwidth, or even crashing routers, so that legitimate users cannot reach the network installation anymore," he says.

Mr Brendel says JSD's netDeFlect has the ability to reliably distinguish between attack traffic and legitimate traffic. "It can either alert operators at the onset of the attack, which gives a crucial early warning, or filter out the attack packets, just letting legitimate traffic pass through. If installed on large enough network pipes, a DDoS can be completely filtered out, without any negative effect on normal site operations," he says.

Furthermore, he says it is ideally suited for installation by ISPs and other network providers, who want to prevent any attacks from originating from their networks. It is aimed at large businesses and organisations, including government and defence sites and Mr Brendel predicts its capabilities could make it a world leading technology, with the potential to put New Zealand on the map as a centre of excellence in data security.

JSD is based at Massey University's e-Centre, a hi-tech incubator on Auckland's North Shore. The company is less than a year old, and the $100,000 GPSRD grant has helped fast-track the R&D.

John Gibson, GPSRD investment manager, says there's a nice synergy in allocating funding for data security R&D via FRST's first internet- exclusive funding arm.


More information:

- Juergen Brendel at JSD, 09 414 2060

- John Gibson, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, 04 917 7863 or 0800 832

Backgrounder Grants for Private Sector R&D

- Grants are targeted specifically to technologically aware SMEs (usually less than $50m turnover). The aim is to increase the level of private sector expenditure of R&D.

- Support of up to 33.3% of R&D costs, to a maximum of $100,000 is available for qualifying projects.

- Latest figures show that around $1.5m per month is being invested in private sector R&D projects by GPSRD.

- The scheme has allocated more than $17.4 million, to 295 companies, since it was launched in September last year.

- GPSRD is the first of the Technology New Zealand schemes to operate exclusively via the Internet, with initial registration through its website,

Prepared for Technology New Zealand by Carrara Communications

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