TippingPoint Launches Industry’s First Comprehensive Network-Based Solution To Thwart Phishing Attacks; Helps Prevent Identity Theft

Austin, TX. – October 10, 2005 – TippingPoint, a division of 3Com and the leader in intrusion prevention, today announced that its TippingPointTM Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) product line is the first comprehensive, network-based solution to block phishing attempts and guard against identity theft. The IPS uses a variety of mechanisms to detect and prevent phishing scams including vulnerability protection, pattern-matching protection, and behavior-based protection.

According to Randy Williams, CTO at Everyone’s Internet (EV1Servers.net), “We’ve seen a sharp decrease in phishing site activity since deploying the TippingPoint anti-phishing filters, and block more than 9,000 phishing attacks per hour.”

Phishing occurs when a perpetrator masquerades as a legitimate organization in order to obtain personal or financial information from an individual and use it for malicious purposes. Since phishing scams usually appear to originate from a trustworthy source, they are extremely difficult to prevent and can be very costly to those who fall prey to them.

According to a recent report from industry analyst firm Gartner, an estimated 2.42 million U.S. adults reported losing money because of phishing attacks last year, and total financial losses relating to these attacks amounted to nearly $929 million. FraudWatch International research indicates that more than 15,000 phishing scams have been reported.

There are several steps used by phishers in the process of identity theft, and the TippingPoint IPS blocks these attempts at every phase.

In order to launch a campaign, phishers compromise a legitimate site or server by taking advantage of programming flaws in the Web site code and system flaws in the server. The TippingPoint IPS offers comprehensive protection against these targeted attempts to compromise a site by exploiting vulnerabilities, including those in network infrastructure or even Web site code, such as HTML, PHP, ASP and Javascript vulnerabilities.

Once a phishing site is in place and appears as the legitimate site of a well-known institution, phishers send mass emails to draw people to the site. Many of these emails have distinguishing characteristics, which the TippingPoint IPS uses to detect and block the emails at the mail gateway so they never make it to end users. In addition to using pattern-matching and behavior-based techniques to block phishing emails, the TippingPoint IPS also analyzes email headers and content for defining phishing characteristics.

Should a phishing scam fool the end user into clicking on a fraudulent link, the IPS can again use its vulnerability and behavior-based filters to block the site. Because several phishing sites take advantage of vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Outlook messaging software and other popular browsers and email clients, the IPS can determine if the Web site is forged by detecting these vulnerabilities. The TippingPoint IPS also inspects the fraudulent Web page for defining content and characteristics common to many phishing campaigns.

“There are specific criteria we look for to determine if the Web site is legitimate, if the email is coming from a phishing mass mailer tool, and if the design guidelines for Web sites, emails and links are accurate,” said Tod Beardsley, lead counter-fraud engineer for TippingPoint. “Because we are using behavior-based and vulnerability detection methods, we are able to block thousands of phishing scams.”

About TippingPoint, a division of 3Com

TippingPoint, a division of 3Com, is the leading provider of network-based intrusion prevention systems. The TippingPoint IPS is the most decorated in its industry. For a full list of awards, visit http://www.tippingpoint.com/products_certifications.html. Our innovative approach offers customers unmatched network-based security with unrivaled economics, ultra-high performance, scalability and reliability. TippingPoint is based in Austin, Texas, and can be contacted through its Web site at www.tippingpoint.com or by telephone at 1-888-TRUE-IPS.

About 3Com Corporation

3Com Corporation (NASDAQ: COMS) is a leading provider of secure, converged voice and data networking solutions for enterprises of all sizes. 3Com offers a broad line of innovative products backed by world class sales, service and support, which excel at delivering business value for its customers. Through its TippingPoint division, 3Com is the leading provider of network-based intrusion prevention systems that deliver in-depth application protection, infrastructure protection, and performance protection for corporate enterprises, government agencies, service providers and academic institutions. For further information, please visit www.3com.com, or the press site www.3com.com/pressbox.

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