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ComputerWorld: Hackers, IT consultants embrace free security tool [FreeS/WAN]

Aug 13, 1999, 01:39 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ann Harrison)

"One tool that met the standard for hacker information technology consultants is the Linux FreeS/WAN project, free, open-source Linux-based server software that uses strong encryption to create secure data tunnels between any two points on the Internet -- a badly needed alternative to expensive, proprietary virtual private networks (VPN).

FreeS/WAN uses the proposed IPsec protocol, an interoperable global standard for securing IP connections. It automatically encrypts data packets at 6M bit/sec. and creates secure gateways in a VPN without modifying the operating system or application software. A PC running FreeS/WAN can set up a secure tunnel in less than a second."

"...Kurt Seifried, an independent security consultant from Edmonton, Alberta, who uses FreeS/WAN to create secure networks for corporate customers... is encouraged by a recent announcement by the Ontario Information and Privacy Commission that pointed out that the Internet is insecure and urged everyone to learn to use strong encryption. "

"...Seifried used FreeS/WAN to connect client machines on either side of two firewalls. He said it created a negligible load on the network and could be run on cheap $500 PCs with two network cards to create a gateway. The system costs $3,000 in hardware for five locations, as opposed to $15,000 for a commercial VPN..."

"FreeS/WAN's biggest drawback, according to Seifried, is that the last stable release is several months old and it doesn't work with the new Linux kernel Version 2.0. He advised users to examine several FreeS/WAN snapshots and recommended the June 14th snapshot."

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