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Airline eliminates worms with intrusion detection

El Al claims to have eliminated worm infections from its networks after installing intrusion prevention hardware.

El Al claims to have eliminated worm infections from its networks after installing intrusion prevention hardware.

The Israeli airline has rolled out V-Secure intrusion protection devices to protect 20 servers and more than 1,000 desktops from hackers, viruses and denial of service attacks.

The airline had been hit by a series of virus attacks which slowed down traffic on internal networks and made it more difficult for customers access to El Al websites.

Guy Balzam, a member of El Al's IT team, said, "We are now protected from all worms, which is a major trick for our organisation. We see worms being blocked even before they reach the firewalls," said Balzam.

The system has also protected El Al from at least one major denial of service attack, said Balzam, by automatically identifying legitimate traffic and blocking illegitimate traffic.

El Al began rolling out V-Secure security units in August last year, following a four-month trial.

It has installed units to protect its external networks and wide area network and plans to add a third unit to protect its local area network by the end of 2005.

El Al evaluated a range of intrusion prevention systems, but rejected them because they required regular signature updates and intervention from IT staff, or they were unable to distinguish between attacks and peaks in the number of network users.

"After we tested the V-Secure system for four months, we found it was extremely reliable and would not block existing users. That was our main concern," said Balzam.

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