Shape Security develops world's first "botwall"

Jan 23, 2014 by Bob Yirka weblog

(Phys.org) —Newly created company Shape Security has announced new technology aimed at combating botnets. Called the ShapeShifter, the product helps protect website owners against website breaches, most specifically from denial-of-service attacks.

Botnets have been in the news a lot lately, due to their apparent ease in shutting down well known sites. Thus far, they have been notoriously difficult to stop because of the way they operate—using polymorphism—where code is changed on the fly to prevent it from being identified. Botnet creators take advantage of unsuspecting users to build large networks of computers, all of which attempt to access a site at one time, causing it to be overloaded, thus preventing others from using the site for legitimate purposes. Shape Security says their turns polymorphism back onto such attacks by using the same technique locally on each .

In order for a botnet to succeed, all of the computers attempting to access a single web site have to look for a common set of symbols or commands that are instigated when web access is attempted. Shape Security has built a roadblock to this approach by causing the computers that access a website to see different information each time they attempt to access the site. Thus, there is no common code for the botnet machines to look for, which means, they won't be able to identify the site they are trying to attack, or to access it if found—denial-of-service attacks are averted.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Shape Security claims that the added code to a web site won't cause any noticeable delays to the user interface (or how it appears) and that it works against other types of attacks as well, such as account takeover, and man-in-the-browser. They note that their approach works because it deflects attacks in real time whereas code for is changed only when it installs (to change its signature).

ShapeShifter is currently being sold to website owners as a hardware device, though Shape Security says a cloud based application is under development. Because of the enormous amounts of capital invested by the company in inventing a whole new way to battle web , the cost for each device is believed to be in the millions. For that reason, at least initially, it will be aimed at very large corporate sites, particularly those in the banking, e-commerce and health care industries.

Explore further: Google announces 'Project Shield' help small sites ward off DDoS attacks

More information: www.shapesecurity.com/

Related Stories

Hope on the horizon for victims of DDoS attacks

Mar 23, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Recently, Yuri Gushin and Alex Behar, security experts with Radware, an Israeli security firm, gave a presentation at the Black Hat conference in Barcelona, Spain, and as part of their program ...

Tech 101: How a denial-of-service attack works

Jul 08, 2009

(AP) -- Investigators are piecing together details about one of the most aggressive computer attacks in recent memory - a powerful "denial-of-service" assault that overwhelmed computers at U.S. and South Korean ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

IamVal
not rated yet Jan 23, 2014
on it's face this is blatant ridiculousness, Likely intended as a write-off expense for large companies which are less likely to be targets of DDoS in the first place. Like a body-guard, it's more about the feeling of security than actual security.

any botnet, performing a ddos, worth it's salt, does not care what the response is from the target server. the end-client doesn't need to recieve more than the first few bytes of the header of the packet before resetting the socket, and allowing the info to dissipate into the aether... But in the interests of speed, the target servers almost always send out the entire package, header and body, all at once. If the body is an image of even 500kb spamming these request packets and not spending flops receiving the response can take down practically any server.

any well programmed botnet decodes it's instructions from a 3rd server, not the target.

and I really hate to break it to the internet-illiterate, but, if you're trying to obfusca
IamVal
not rated yet Jan 23, 2014
te a packet in a way that makes it difficult for a botnet to read, you're also making it infinitely harder for any browser to read, reducing the overall performance for the end user. Think early otts antiviruses. Most viruses did less damage than trying to run norton 24/7

More news stories

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

(Phys.org) —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

New US-Spanish firm says targets rich mobile ad market

Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica and US investment giant Blackstone launched a mobile telephone advertising venture on Wednesday, challenging internet giants such as Google and Facebook in a multi-billion-dollar ...

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

(Phys.org) —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...