EFF Publishes a Bit of ResNet History

The EFF, one of my favorite organizations, has announced a report describing a security vulnerability in Impulse Point’s SafeConnect product. I don’t have any new insight to add regarding the security flaw or SafeConnect. But the announcement is a quick read with a nice little history of Network Access Control (NAC) technology and its important role in managing residential computer networks.

(Off-topic reminiscing: In 2003, college and university campuses experienced massive problems on their student computer networks thanks to the Blaster and SoBig worms. In response, colleges and universities rapidly adopted NAC and similar technologies to curtail those problems. Around that time, a few people from a brand new company visited the campus where I worked to pitch their product; the company was located in Florida and they were visiting nearby colleges and universities to collect feedback and gauge interest. They had a nice product but it didn’t address our needs. If I remember correctly, the product hijacked downloads of copyrighted material – music, movies, etc. – and redirected students to vendors selling the material legally. Again, it was a neat product but one in which we had no interest. Instead, we told them how badly we needed a good NAC, especially after getting our asses kicked by Blaster and SoBig so badly that we shut down the network for several days until we could get a handle on things. Importantly, their product shared a lot with NAC products so our recommendation to develop a NAC was realistic. The nice people from Impulse Point left and when I next heard of them it was about the success of their SafeConnect NAC product. Maybe my memory is faulty or maybe I’m just silly and arrogant but I like to think that I played a teeny tiny role in the success of this company and their popular product. You’re welcome!)

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