Equipped with Arbor Networks’ Peakflow, Rackspace Managed Hosting Staves Off SQL Worm

Leading hosting provider uses Arbor’s network anomaly detection to proactively protect its network and customers

31st January 2003 – Arbor Networks(tm), a leading provider of network anomaly detection solutions, today announced that Rackspace Managed Hosting successfully defended its network against the SQL worm that plagued networks infrastructure security solution.

At approximately 12:30 am EST on January 25, the Sapphire worm – also known as Slammer and SQLExp – infected more than 120,000 computers, overwhelming many corporate and service provider networks. The SQL worm caused infected computers to transmit floods of traffic disrupting hundreds of thousands of systems worldwide and causing significant slowdowns on the Internet.

With more than 7,000 servers under management, Rackspace experienced minimal operational difficulties as a result of the SQL worm. Because Rackspace proactively patches and performs security maintenance for its subscribing customers, only a fraction of the company’s servers were vulnerable to the worm. Ultimately, by partnering with best-of-breed solution providers like Arbor Networks, Rackspace was able to protect the integrity of its network from attack – keeping its customers up and running.

“Our network remained available when others were still trying to figure out why their networks were saturated with traffic and which machines were affected,” said Paul Froutan, vice president of engineering, Rackspace Managed Hosting. “Within minutes, Peakflow detected the anomalous traffic created by the worm, provided filters to mitigate the effects and pinpointed the affected servers. With this real-time analysis of the situation, we were able to apply filters, block the worm from entering or leaving our network and maintain network availability. Thanks to Peakflow, Rackspace was able to maintain its record of 24 months of 100 percent network uptime.”

Arbor’s solution is built upon the Peakflow Platform, an architecture for network-wide data collection, analysis and anomaly detection. Creating dynamic models of normal network behaviour from the edge through the core, the platform compares traffic in real-time against these baselines, enabling operators to rapidly spot and address anomalous activity.

“The rapid evolution of attack technology requires a new approach to detect, trace and mitigate zero-day threats like the SQL worm,” said Arbor Networks CEO and President Thomas A. Arthur. “Signature-based products only protect against attacks that have defined signatures. Peakflow’s value lies in its focus on modelling the network, rather than attempting to model the chameleon-like attacks that threaten it. Once operators are equipped with a real-time understanding of normal, healthy network behaviour, they can rapidly distinguish even unknown attacks and respond decisively.”

“The impact of distributed threats like the SQL Slammer worm highlight the short-comings of signature-based solutions,” said Eric Ogren, senior analyst at the Yankee Group. “Rackspace’s experience demonstrates the effectiveness of intelligent network solutions which act on deviations from normal traffic flows. It is a prime example of applying a leading security product, such as Arbor Networks’ Peakflow, to mitigate attacks both in the network core and at the edge.”

About Arbor Networks
Arbor Networks provides solutions that dynamically measure, visualise and protect networks, eliminating business vulnerabilities, both security and operational, that network operators face everyday. Peakflow, Arbor’s network-wide anomaly detection platform, bolsters infrastructure security and streamlines backbone operations, improving profitability and driving revenue for the operators of complex networks. Funded by Thomas Weisel Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Cisco Systems, Comcast Interactive Capital, SAIC Venture Capital Corporation, Ironside Ventures and EDF Ventures, Arbor is headquartered in Lexington, MA and has a research and development office in Ann Arbor, MI. Arbor has been recognized as one of UPSIDE Magazine’s Hot 100 Private Companies in 2002, Red Herring’s Ten to Watch in 2001 and Network World’s Ten Start-Ups to Watch in 2001. www.arbornetworks.com

About Rackspace Managed Hosting
Rackspace Managed Hosting provides managed hosting solutions with Fanatical Support(tm) to small to medium sized businesses. All customer platforms include state-of-the-art data centres, customised servers, burstable connectivity, 99.999% uptime SLA, a dedicated account manager, instant emergency response and access to live expert technicians 24×7 for support of all hardware and core software. For more information, visit http://www.rackspace.co.uk

Copyright (c) 2001-2003 Arbor Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. Arbor Networks, the Arbor Networks logo, Peakflow and the Peakflow logo, and ArbOS are trademarks of Arbor Networks, Inc. in the USA and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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