Security firm 'detonates' copies of suspicious files to sniff out malware, botnet attacks

HBGary Monday introduced an appliance that sits at the perimeter of the enterprise network to watch for possible incoming malware and outgoing traces of botnet infections.

Called Razor, the appliance uses a "virtual-machine system" that takes all files and copies them to inspect for malware by "detonating" the file copies in a sandbox to examine whether any document contains malicious content, according to HBGary CEO Greg Hoglund. It also watches for malicious command-and-control activity, and can automatically block further traffic associated with a malicious site.

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Hoglund says the Razor appliance uses the same Digital DNA and Active Defense technology found in HBGary's end-node products. In deploying Razor at the perimeter, the idea is that if malware is detected in transit, an alert would be sent to the enterprise security information management point, with the goal of examining the machine where it's headed. The method does not rely on "static signature-based security," says Hoglund, adding customers feel this is no longer enough.

Interest in non-signature-based protection methods is on the rise. Razor is intended to compete with the detection approaches used by FireEye and Damballa, which do not rely on malware signatures. The announcement of HBGary's Razor comes on the heels of yet another new product to compete in this arena, the Spectrum appliance announced by NetWitness earlier this month. 

Razor, which starts at $23,500, is now in beta and expected to ship in the February time frame.

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

This story, "Security firm 'detonates' copies of suspicious files to sniff out malware, botnet attacks" was originally published by Network World.

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