After announcing F-Secure Messaging Security Gateway two months ago, we're going deeper into the hardware appliance business. We've today acquired a company called ROMmon - welcome aboard, guys!
ROMmon, the brainchild of the networking guru Petri Helenius has been specializing in ultra fast network monitoring devices.
One very nice application of this technology is automatic monitoring for rogue nodes in a network.
For example, ROMmon devices were used very effectively during the massive Assembly'05 demo party to locate and isolate infected machines in the party network. See some of these bandwidth graphs. We're launching a new product called F-Secure Network Control Appliance based on this technology. It will tackle spam and computer zombies for service providers automatically. This box will monitor traffic from end-users at the network edge, automatically denying offending computers access to the network. Those using too much bandwidth or operating as spam zombies will automatically get redirected to a self-help web page, explaining what they have to do (like "clean your PC - install patches!") in order to regain network connectivity.
This is smart compared to the current model where ISPs and other service providers are manually trying to figure out who is a zombie and who is not - and when they find one they will just cut the user off, leaving him wondering what's going on and making support calls.
This technology works: it is already being used to monitor around half a million subscriber lines.