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Agnitum Directions (July, 2008)

  • Product news: Outpost Pro 2009 is here!
  • Reviews: Outpost Firewall Pro 2009 beats 30+ competitors in Matousec Transparent Security tests
  • Security Insight: Cross Site Scripting – the Web's lurking danger
  • Video: Kaspersky, ESET and Agnitum show off their proactive protection capabilities

Dear Readers,

We have a lot to be proud of this month! At the beginning of the month we launched the new product line – Outpost Pro 2009. The release was soon followed by a winning position in the latest Matousec Transparent Security tests when Outpost Firewall Pro 2009 beat out 30+ competing firewalls and Internet security suites. In this issue of the newsletter, we’ll also tell you how to get these brand-new products! Finally, we’ll hand over to Igor Pankov, Security Teacher – this month Igor has a new Security Insight and a very informative video.

As always, we appreciate your feedback, so please use our web mail form or blog to send us your comments and opinions!

Outpost Pro 2009 is here!

We’ve finally done it! The complete Outpost Pro 2009 product line is now available. Outpost 2009 strikes a one-two-three blow against cyber-threats with its new generation security solutions – Outpost Firewall Pro, Outpost AntiVirus Pro and Outpost Security Suite Pro.

As with earlier versions, Outpost Security Suite 2009 is centered around Outpost’s acclaimed personal firewall, with added anti-spyware, anti-virus, integral host protection, web control and anti-spam. Outpost Firewall Pro and Outpost AntiVirus Pro offer subsets of the suite’s functionality – both lack the firewall, while the former lacks the suite’s anti-spam capability, while the latter omits both anti-spam and web control.

"Outpost 2009 has been designed with optimization in mind," said Alexey Belkin, Chief Software Architect at Agnitum. "This principle touches just about every aspect of the program, from performance and appearance to control and accessibility. Our main focus overall is on creating the optimum user experience."

Although we’ve already talked about most of the 2009 features, here’s a one-stop overview of the improvements in Outpost 2009:

User interface and controls

  • Protection Status Overview: The new dashboard-style display provides a summary of the current Outpost protection status – from the state of updates to the level of security settings.
  • Basic/Expert Interface Toggle: By switching between the Basic and Expert interface layouts, users can customize their preferred view of the main program window.
  • Improved Event Logger Manageability: The tried-and-true Outpost 4.0 event logger is back with its per-category filterable and sortable log entries.
  • New Process Activity Monitor: This utility lists all currently active processes in expandable format, providing quick access to key properties.
  • More Informative Network Activity Monitor: Outpost 2009 sports a redesigned, more logical Network Activity display where connections are grouped by application.

Performance

"Gain without pain" is the key here; Outpost 2009 challenges the stereotype of security products as resource hogs and eliminates a number of potential slow-downs.

SmartScan now runs up to ten times faster than in earlier versions, and data stream processing is much more efficient. This is achieved by storing the history of past malware scans in a single secure location, instead of all PC folders, as in Outpost 2008.

Computers protected by Outpost now start faster, run faster, scan faster, and use fewer system resources, delivering the ultimate in transparent, hands-free security.

New functionality

Outpost 2009 is not just a pretty face. The core security layer in all three products has been further reinforced to withstand latest internal sabotage attacks and addresses the most lethal leak techniques employed by undetectable malware:

Extended Host Protection: To fully protect users against inappropriate activity, Outpost now includes protection against the latest security breach techniques. Outpost’s perfect leaktest scores reflect the product’s ability to protect against attacks on personal data employed by real, in-the-wild malware.

Protection Against Keyloggers: Outpost’s Host Protection protects systems against keylogger activity, monitoring system events and ensuring that no malicious keyboard interaction is possible. This prevents the unwitting disclosure of personal information, including passwords and credit card numbers.

IP Blocklist Keeps Surfing Clean: IP Blocklist lets users blacklist specified Internet domains and restrict incoming and outgoing traffic from sites with bad reputations. The list of blocked entries can be manually defined or imported from different web communities.

Antispam supports The Bat!: Agnitum’s Bayesian-based antispam module, formerly compatible only with Microsoft mail clients, can now be integrated into the popular The Bat! email application.

System requirements, pricing, and availability

Outpost 2009 is compatible with Windows Vista SP1, XP SP3, and Server 2008 as well as all previous 32- and 64-bit versions from Windows 2000 onwards. All three products will work smoothly on a 450 MHz or faster CPU (x-86/x-64/multi-core) with 256Mb RAM.

Outpost Firewall Pro, Outpost Antivirus Pro and Outpost Security Suite Pro 2009 are available for $39.95, $19.95 and $49.95, respectively. Current license holders for Outpost Pro 2008 products are eligible for a free-of-charge upgrade to the latest versions.

Trial versions of Outpost 2009 products can be downloaded from:

http://www.agnitum.com/products/outpost/download.php,
http://www.agnitum.com/products/antivirus/download.php and
http://www.agnitum.com/products/security-suite/download.php.

Outpost Firewall Pro 2009 beats 30+ competitors in Matousec Transparent Security tests

We were delighted to learn that Outpost Firewall Pro 2009 has already come out on top in the most recent Matousec Firewall Challenge (including the most popular Internet security suites). This test, performed by Matousec Transparent Security (www.matousec.com) on July 3 and 4, 2008, put Outpost ahead of more than 30 other personal firewalls and security suites with a 99 % efficiency rating in the latest leaktests.

A leaktest is a program designed to determine if a firewall's outbound protection can be bypassed using specific hacking techniques. A failure in any leaktest indicates that the software is unable to prevent the user’s data from leaking out if that particular technique is used by a hacker or other malware, hence the term "leaktest". Many of the techniques used in Matousec’s leaktests are already in use by real-world malware: spyware, Trojans, keyloggers, worms and other cyber threats.

Leaktests are not the only challenge security software should be able to resist, so Matousec Transparent Security also analyses firewall efficiency in

  • general bypassing tests that emulate malware attempts to bypass protection generally without targeting specific components
  • termination tests that emulate attempts to disable the product and its defense functions;
  • spying tests (including keyloggers and packet sniffers) that test whether a product is able to prevent malware from spying on a user’s data
  • performance tests

Matousec Transparent Security has recently implemented a new, even stricter and more challenging, methodology of testing, which is described on the researcher’s web-site at http://www.matousec.com. Detailed test results are available at http://www.matousec.com/projects/firewall-challenge/results.php

Cross Site Scripting – the Web's lurking danger

There are certain areas in computer security that a user has almost no control of, like involuntary exposure to software vulnerabilities. Vendors should design their products in a way that would eliminate security compromises or enable quick mitigation.

The same principle applies to cross site scripting. Although the victory over this threat is long into the future, it is important to recognize its impact–that’s what this article is about.

Read more to learn the details.

Kaspersky, ESET and Agnitum show off their proactive protection capabilities

In the first of our series of Security Teacher competitive tests, we decided to pit three popular security products – Kaspersky Internet Security, Agnitum Outpost Security Suite Pro and Eset Smart Security against each other to find which was best able to counter threats using integral proactive protection – tools that monitor system activity and alert the user to new or unknown program operations.

The testing methodology was quite straightforward: disabling all signature-related scanners, running the test malware sample and tracking how each product fared in preventing activation of malware after a system restart. All prompts were given the “block action” response, and the tools used for testing were Sysinternals Autoruns and Process Explorer.

Click here to see the products in action.

In conclusion

We hope you’ll enjoy the new products and stay safe! As always, we appreciate your ideas and suggestions on how we can further improve our solutions to your benefit! Stay calm and peaceful while Agnitum takes care of your security!

With best wishes,
Your Agnitum team



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