Unisys unveils invisibility cloak for network traffic

David Strom

Stealth ships with a turnkey hardware appliance along with various client licensing options. You also need to set up encryption certificates with Stealth's specialized Windows certificate authority, along with creating the communities of interest.  

We tested Stealth using a collection of pre-set virtual Windows 2008 R2 Servers and Windows 7 desktops, along with a sample XP machine. Unisys set all this up for us, but we spent some time looking over the various configurations to make sure they weren't trying to hide anything.

While the product works as advertised, the configuration screens are somewhat obtuse, and you have a two-step process to save and then commit any of your changes to the Stealth server. All the configuration parameters make extensive use of XML schemas, which could be an issue if you need to do extensive debugging. Unisys is working on a better and clearer interface.

We pulled the network connection on the Stealth server and within a few minutes all communications stopped between two PCs that had been talking to each other over the Stealth encrypted channel. This means you want your Stealth server protected from power and network outages, otherwise you will have your users calling you when it is disconnected.

Another downside is if users have administrative rights to their PCs they could easily or inadvertently turn off the Stealth features, if they know where to look. A much better option is to make use of managed PCs or to provide tighter access rights so that users can't change their configurations so readily.

You also want to make sure that you understand what network resources you are hiding and which ones you might need for non-stealthy activities, such as obtaining DNS lookups or authenticating yourself at login time or running other protocols that don't need the extra protection.

Stealth comes in several packaging options, including a more secure VPN tunnel, a matched pair to extend its encryption to a remote site across the Internet, and versions that can secure remote access via USB keys and mobile phones. The entry-level cost is $30,000 although these options can quickly double this price.

Stealth is an interesting product that might just be a great way to hide from hackers.

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