Pings & Packets from eWEEK Labs - 8

Smartvue offers basic surveillance ... Next-step book for open-source tools ... MioNet makes sharing easier.

Smartvue Offers Basic Surveillance

With its Smartvue S2 IP Video surveillance system, Smartvue has combined a good video camera with a well-designed management interface and appliance to create a simple IP video surveillance solution.

The S2 IP is a little expensive—the S2 IP Camera lists for $1,999 and the S2 80GB DVM (digital video manager) appliance has a list price of $3,499—but the product makes it easy to place and monitor as many as 10 cameras. A 250GB DVM that encrypts video data is also available for $4,999.

I liked the flexibility of the camera, which supports both MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) wireless and over-the-wire Ethernet and can output directly to a video recording device via video composite port. Working with the management interface was relatively easy as well: At least one user must install the Windows DVM Finder application to manage initial setup of the DVM appliance. I generally liked the interface, although setting up recording based on time or movement was tricky at first.

Accessing the management console requires Internet Explorer with ActiveX enabled, and users will have to have a Pentium IV or equivalent system to observe video because of the H.264 compression the camera uses to conserve bandwidth. Smartvue is working on adding Apples QuickTime support so that a broader range of systems can view video. Smartvue also provides a service, Remote Insight, for managing the DVM and cameras remotely.

For more information, go to www.smartvue.com.

--Michael Caton

Next-Step Book for Open-Source Tools

"Nessus, Snort, & Ethereal Power Tools: Customizing Open Source Security Applications" is a good book for professional users of the open-source tools listed in the title. Although some sections are near-verbatim copies of chapters of other Syngress Publishing titles, the vast majority of the material looks new.

In fact, the material resembles a series of advanced tutorials, which is good. "Nessus, Snort, & Ethereal Power Tools" succeeds as a next-step book for power users because it provides clear, detailed examples of how to manipulate strings in NASL (Nessus Attack Scripting Language), the inner workings of the Snort network intrusion detection tool, and the advanced packet-sniffing techniques available in Ethereal.

The book is packed with useful information and well worth the $39.95 list price. The densely packed examples are well-documented and well-indexed. Experienced users will likely feel like experts in open-source vulnerability assessment, intrusion detection and packet-sniffing tools after reading the book.

--Cameron Sturdevant

MioNet Makes Sharing Easier

Keeping your work synchronized among separate, sometimes far-flung machines can be a major pain. As the proliferation of USB keychain drives, PC remote control software and Internet file storage services during the past few years demonstrates, people are trying lots of ways to get their office, home and other work spaces in sync.

I recently ran across a new means of skinning this cat, a software-service combination from Senvid called MioNet. This ingenious product lets you share the contents of Internet-connected PCs under your control (you need administrator rights to install MioNet) with other machines, without worrying about routers, NATs, firewalls and the like. You can also share particular folders with other MioNet users.

I installed the software on my brothers home PC and on one of the systems in my test network here in the lab. I was able to browse through the folders Id enabled for sharing on his machine as if those folders were local to my system.

File transfers between connected systems go as quickly as the connection between them permits, but once the initial transfer is complete, MioNet only syncs deltas between the files, keeping subsequent transfers—such as those in the course of document collaboration—as short as possible.

My big gripe with MioNet is that, for now, it supports only Windows. MioNet officials said Linux and Mac versions are in the works. This is a very handy product, and I imagine Ill be plunking down the $40-per-year subscription fee once Senvid produces a version thatll run on my non-Windows computer.

For more information or to take MioNet on a 30-day free test spin, cruise to www.mionet.com.

--Jason Brooks