McAfee Reaches Out to Linux

McAfee is broadening the reach of its Entercept host intrusion prevention technology to the Linux platform.

Citing the rapid adoption of Linux in the enterprise, security software company McAfee Inc. is broadening the reach of its Entercept host intrusion prevention technology to the Linux platform.

The companys Entercept for Linux release includes support for Red Hat Inc.s Red Hat Enterprise Linux Version 3.

The announcement is the latest move by McAfee to widen support for Linux, as enterprise customers abandon platforms such as Solaris and Windows in favor of Linux, said Dan Wolff, McAfees senior product manager for Entercept, in Santa Clara, Calif. The announcement follows recent enhancements to the McAfee LinuxShield anti-virus product.

Entercept for Linux will protect servers running Linux from such common threats as buffer overflows and attacks hidden in HTTP Web traffic, Wolff said.

"The main thing customers are asking us for is to broaden our platform support," Wolff said. More and more McAfee customers are migrating to Linux, especially for nuts-and-bolts functions such as file and print servers, e-mail servers, and even databases, he said.

Most Internet threats and attacks target systems running Windows, but the number of Linux-based threats is growing, Wolff said.


While Linux has known vulnerabilities, the biggest threat comes from remotely exploitable vulnerabilities in applications such as the MPlayer movie player and Postgres open-source database, as well as proprietary platforms such as Oracle, Wolff said.

However, the biggest motivator for customers is the desire to simplify network security management, according to Wolff.

"People want a uniform system across their infrastructure, with one pocket of expertise. It gives them the freedom to migrate and change the mix of operating systems very dynamically," Wolff said.

Entercept for Linux is due this week. Industry observers say Linuxs overall increase in popularity of late has made such security measures a must.

"I think its the platform thats attractive rather than the threat environment," said Christian Christiansen, an analyst at IDC, in Framingham, Mass. "Customers are starting to look at Linux as a platform for deploying security servers, so its an attractive platform, but I dont think theres been an uptick in [Linux threats]," Christiansen said.


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