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Internet monitoring system to publish tools as open source

OSORAn Estonian government project to safeguard the country’s Internet infrastructure will publish some of the tools it is developing as open source, using the European Union Public Licence (EUPL).

The project will be monitoring network traffic in Estonia, aiming to prevent network problems.

The project was awarded this summer by the National Informatics Center (RIA) to the Finish IT security specialist Clarified Networks and the Estonian IT solutions provider and equipment manufacturer Cybernetica.

The two are assisted by the computer emergency response team (CERT), part of RIA. Banks, telecom operators, Internet operators and ministries will also contribute to the project, expects Jani Kenttälä, CTO at Clarified. “The providers of Estonia’s critical Internet infrastructure know each other pretty well.”

The project will be using many different open source tools. In its procurement, RIA explained the project required expertise with open source operating systems OpenBSD and Debian GNU/Linux. It also requested specific open source tools, for instance the intrusion detection application Snort and configuration manager Cfengine.

“We are using many great open source tools for this project”, says Kenttälä. “That is why we will give back to the open source community the tools that we develop for this project.”

One of the main goals is to create tools that can be used for similar monitoring projects, the CTO explains. Apart from developing such tools, the consortium plans to promote, to support and to further develop the end-results. “Using open source tools provides scalability for the user base. We hope to be able to get a sustainable community of developers involved.”

The project is already well under way, says Kenttälä. “Development of the first two open source components, ‘Snort4All’ and ‘Abuse helper’ started at the end of September. We hope to complete these to at the end of this year, so they should be availble early next year.”

Snort4All will provide Estonian organisations with tailored hardware and software to detections intrusions and other network events. ‘Abuse helper’ is meant to help CERT teams and Internet operators handle network abuses.

Then the security specialist will start on a third component ‘Virtual Situation Room’, which they aim to complete at the end of 2010. This system should provide notifications immediately of serious threats to the network services. It is to become part of the national crisis management system, but could also be used also for other networks, including telephone and mobile networks, electricity networks, and payments systems.

Article was originally published at the Open Source Observatory and Repository Europe.

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One Comment

  1. To be precise, instead of monitoring the actual traffic, the deployed tools monitor network events and reports related to Internet abuse.

    See the open source site for one of the tools:

    http://code.google.com/p/abusehelper/

    The experiences of CERT-EE and CERT-FI have greatly helped in designing the new concepts of AbuseHelper.

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