Posted by Thomas Sun, 25 Jan 2009 16:28:30 +0000

A couple of weeks ago, I had an awesome idea (well of course I think it’s awesome, it’s my idea). Laurie was having some egregious virus/spyware problems. Problems almost to the point where I thought she’d either have to reinstall or take it somewhere and spend $$$. In the end, though, she was able to get it righted, and last I heard, all was mostly right with the world.

Several years ago I ran across Netsquid. Basically it “takes an Intrusion Detection System like Snort and transform it into an Intrusion Prevention System”. It sits between the internet and your computer, and tries its best to keep you from getting viruses, alerts you when you have one, and will shut you off from the network if you do have one.

I’d sort of forgotten about my idea, but recently there have been some very widespread viral activity. And since Microsoft seems neither to be able find a decent security model, nor find themselves with dwindling consumer market share, I ask myself, why haven’t all of the broadband router companies put this sort of functionality into their routers?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have Linux looking after you, even if your machine is running Windows? The virus protection is super easy and simple, as there are multiple anti-virus products for linux that are well maintained. Spyware gets more tricky, as I don’t think there are any decent spyware detectors for linux. Basically this device would act as your router, inspecting all of your traffic, disallowing viruses and spyware to enter your network, watching out for suspicious outgoing network activity (like noticing c&c traffic or secondary payloads), alerting you to the fact that there’s a problem, cutting you off from the internet (and possibly segregating you off from the rest of the local network), and keep you from visiting phishing sites (via Google’s Safe Browsing initiative). It’s like a trifecta of virus, spyware, and phishing protection.

Technically it’s probably pretty simple to whip up, but nothing I would feel like supporting for 100 million people. Anyone who reads this, implements it, and becomes rich off of it, please grant me some slice of the pie. :) kthxbye

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