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CNN Today

Compuware Uses Special Software to Protect Against Denial-of- Service Attacks

Aired February 10, 2000 - 1:07 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The cyber-attacks have Web sites scrambling to protect themselves. Today, the Justice Department asked governments and businesses to join forces in creating a new layer of security.

CNN's Ed Garsten reports on one way to protect against denial-of- service attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED GARSTEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's just as if there was too much rain, causing a river to backup and flood. With enough warning, communities can set up sandbags or levies as a defense. In this case, Web sites such as CNN's and others were flooded with information by hackers. Compuware is one company that's developed a system for flooding Web sites with information so that companies can build in electronic defenses against hackers. The system is called QALoad.

MARK ESHELBY, COMPUWARE: What we are now doing is by simulating hundreds or hundreds of thousands of simultaneous requests against your server, we're now proactively monitoring the effect of loads or the effect of volume on your system. As we grow the load on the system, we can actually see whether or not our servers are going to be able to, a, handle that predicted load or that ramp-up, and, b, where the error actually occurs.

GARSTEN: Once that breaking point is determined, a company can then use that knowledge to help prevent the effects of a hacker's desire to flood its site.

DOUGLAS TURNER, GM, QACENTER PRODUCTS, COMPUWARE: Understanding how much capacity or headroom you have, understanding where the breakpoint is going to be, we can also then help them monitor their site live during production, throughout the business day, and therefore let them know when they're approaching that break point and alert them so they can take corrective action.

GARSTEN: corrective action such as adding more capacity on the spot, a kind of cyber-dike against the flood of data.

(on camera): Compuware says it would be very hard for the software to fall into the hands of hackers, because it sells it only to corporations, not to the consumer market, and in most cases the system is programmed to work on only one computer.

(voice-over): The company won't say how much QALoad costs but insists the investment in software to create a controlled flood of information is money well spent to help avoid a Web site from drowning in a deluge of data.

Ed Garsten, CNN, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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