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Cleanup Your Internet with our Safe Surfing Trial

Cleanup Your Internet with our Safe Surfing Trial

Cleanup Your Internet with our Safe Surfing Trial

Aladdin LogoYou probably already run Anti-Virus and other security tools which prevent threats to your PCs. Kept up-to-date and with regular scanning, these tools provide good protection against most on-line security threats. However, whether it's because of cost, apathy, lack of knowledge or all of the above many thousands of our customers don't have adequate security protection for their PCs and home networks. The consequences of these oversights can range from mildly annoying through to expensive and disastrous. We're now asking our customers to help us trial one possible solution. We've been working for some time to find good answers to these problems, and as a result a number of new services are planned for coming months. We're pleased now to announce the free trial of the first of these, Safe Surf from Aladdin eSafe, and we're asking for volunteers to help us put the system through its paces. The Safe Surfing system works transparently with your connection, and 'cleans your Internet feed' of web threats, spyware, Trojans, viruses, worms, Phishing attacks, and more. The equipment that does this is hosted within our network, which means you don't need to install any new software or applications on your PC whatsoever. It also works without impacting the speed of your connection or general web surfing experience. Most importantly, because only one central server needs to be kept up up-to-date and customers never need to perform updates or upgrades themselves, you are always protected from the latest Internet threats as soon as they are discovered. The fact that we host the service also means your data never leaves our network and it is never passed to a third party. As well as web security, the system also provides a connection level Parental Control service which will enable you to block categories of websites such as pornography, drugs, gambling etc. During the the pilot the parental control service will be limited to only offering a number of predefined categories, more details which can be found when you subscribe to the trial. The final live service will offer a complete Parental Control Agent which will enable users to:

  • Define multiple profiles for parental & security control
  • Have multiple users on a single or multiple PCs at home
  • Define their own exclusions (white-list, blacklist)
  • Define web browsing time control and limitation
  • Run an online re-mediation service
  • Run private activity reports

A full description of all the future extra services planned can be found in the trial forum, which will become visible on the community site to trial participants once they have registered. As this service is in its beta stage and operates quite transparently, we will be reliant on the feedback from our customers to properly assess the product. Feedback regarding your browsing experience following registration to the service is essential, and we will therefore invite you to fill in a survey before registering for the trial and another at the end of the trial. This will assist us in improving the final product offering offer and adjusting it to your specific needs. We think the Aladdin Esafe solution achieves what no one else has so far (although we won't know for sure that it's the right solution for us and our customers until we've completed the trial of course), and we are pleased to be the first UK ISP to offer this system to our customers. Trial Details and Frequently Asked Questions Who are Aladdin? Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ALDN) were founded in 1985 and have become a well renowned global provider of security solutions. Aladdin has offices in 10 countries and currently provide solutions to ISPs and enterprise businesses all over the world. Why are we launching network based web security? We believe that ISPs are in the best possible position to help provide customers with solutions that protect their online security, and we see it as an area where we can use our technical ability to offer a better product than anyone else can. How does the parental control system work? There are different categories dependant on the type of protection you require, please see the table at the end of this article for details. Will it cost me? The trial will be completely free, but the product will most likely be sold as an add-on once it is fully launched. It will most definitely always be an opt-in service, even if it is offered for free, and no trialists will be automatically charged for the service even once it is launched. When is the service due to launch? If the trial is successful we will start work to make this a part of our feature set. The public phase of the trial is scheduled to last at least a month, after which we might expect to see a full product by the end of the summer. Will I still need Anti-virus and other security software? Yes, we certainly don't think that this system (during the trial especially) can replace anti-virus software completely, although that isn't our goal for this product anyway. What we are asking members of our community to help with is putting the solution through it's paces to just how good it is at protecting our customers network. Parental Control Profile Categories

 

Aladdin Security Trial

 

For more information and to register for the trial, please visit our trials page at http://trials.plus.net

Please note that support for the trial will be Monday - Friday 9.00am-5.30pm.

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10 Comments
Rising Star
Apart from the missing word "need" in the last sentence Smiley ... I remember Ian talking about Aladdin at the Open Day, and it seemed quite exciting. The points I think I remember, that perhaps need further emphasis: 1) It doesn't send our data to anyone else, and doesn't even allow PlusNet to get at our data 2) It is automatically and regularly updated (with new definitions and filters for data we don't want on our PCs) from one highly reputable source - Aladdin 3) PlusNet themselves are partnering with Aladdin to deliver this service (not just buying it in) so have an ongoing relationship with them 3) It does not slow down our internet connection or reduce bandwidth or affect usage limits 4) It is completely transparent, residing on the PlusNet servers - there is no indication that it is even on and doing anything - even though everything goes through it all the time (which may possibly have it's down sides...?) 5) It is "not the PlusNet way" to have it on for people who have not requested it 6) It is far more advanced and subtle than the techniques of blocking ports, running IP filters, blocking keywords etc. that some ISPs have tried Please correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.
Seasoned Pro
I certainly don't wish to opt-in! Since PN have already admitted to carrying out deep packet inspection, why is data being deep inspected twice (once for PN and once for Aladdin?) BTW Why would anyone need protection from the "Swimwear/Lingerie" category!
Not applicable
Axis. See my comments in response to your other post. We've been using DPI as part of our traffic management since November 2004 and we've never hidden that. There is a wealth of information on our portal regarding this. DPI allows us to ensure that time sensitive traffic like gaming, voip etc is given the correct priority on our network and that bandwidth hungry protocols such as binary usenet and P2P arent allowed to impede on the time sensitive applications. This doesnt mean we inspect what you are downloading, thats not our job.
Dabbler
Does PlusNet feel the technology would be illegal under RIPA if introduced via 'opt-out' or mandatory basis? Has PlusNet sought advice from the Home Office before deployment? Where can I get technical details on the point at which PlusNet discriminates between data streams of users of the technology and users not signed up to the technology? Do data streams of users not signed up for the technology (after full deployment) pass through any hardware/software supplied by Aladdin?
Grafter
Hi Lee, Firstly, as we pay per user for this type of technology it would be rather silly of us to consider giving it to people who don't want to use it. There is no upside for us in doing that at all (it's a very different solution to some of those being proposed by other ISPs in the UK currently). In terms of the legal side, I think it's important to bear in mind that the elements of RIPA being discussed in relation to Phorm etc relate to the interception of traffic. Interception in terms of RIPA is very clearly defined as being where data is captured and then passed to a third party. As the Aladdin service simply looks at traffic and matches it against rules held within the same platform, nothing like that happens in this implementation and the data is never passed to a third party in any way whatsoever. Traffic from non Aladdin subscribers won't pass through the platform. Again, that would represent a serious waste of what is a costly resource, with zero gain to our customers or us as a result. I'm happy to share the details of any platform design when that has been finalised, although for competitive and security reasons there will always be some details we can't put in the public domain. For now it's simply a case that we have seperate routing for Aladdin triallists that will pass only their traffic through the trial platform. I would be happy to hear from a small group of customers who had concerns about this, and with use of an NDA, could perhaps share more of the detail about the technology and platform design if they would be prepared to vouch for the fact that nothing underhand was going on to any other potentially concerned customers. Drop me an email (iwild at plus d. net) if that is something you would be prepared to help with Lee. I'd just finish by saying that we have absolutely nothing to hide on this one. I think this is a potentially brilliant and very beneficial service for customers who want the extra protection the technology can provide, and I hope it can be seen as that by our customers. Ian
Dabbler
Thank-you for your reply. "In terms of the legal side, I think it’s important to bear in mind that the elements of RIPA being discussed in relation to Phorm etc relate to the interception of traffic. Interception in terms of RIPA is very clearly defined as being where data is captured and then passed to a third party." Indeed. However, until I asked there was no assurance from PlusNet that the Aladdin 'platform' doesn't phone-home. Presumably PlusNet will be providing Aladdin with at least some form of (system) profiling data for optimization. Debug information is perhaps more worrying. Though I'm sure no ISP would be naive enough to pass a memory dump (even from the process' local address space) to a 3rd-party Smiley
Grafter
Hi Lee, In the article above I was careful to include the point - "The fact that we host the service also means your data never leaves our network and it is never passed to a third party" :-) Companies like Aladdin are very concious of data security (given their job is to protect customers data they take this very seriously). The architecture means the system doesn't make customer specific data available to anyone else, and what optimisation and debug information is available relates to things like throughput and capacity management reporting and not individuals data. I hope that puts your mind at rest, but as I say I would be happy to work with you further to give you more detail than I can make available in public if that is of interest. Ian
Dabbler
Ha, well. It was late when I posted is all I can say. Wink Does this mean the "mere conduit" defence has been well and truly destroyed?
Not applicable
[...] of you may remember that back in May we blogged asking for some volunteers to come and trial a safe surfing system called [...]
Grafter
Interesting... I've just been asked to provide a public-accessible internet service and am concerned about liability issues regarding virii etc and inappropriate content. An ISP giving this service would be an ideal solution!