Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hewlett-Packard to Hack Customers

Hewlett-Packard is taking a cue from hackers to help protect corporate systems.

HP has decided to hack into its customers' computers under a new service to test their reliability.

The penetration-testing service for businesses will begin in October. HP hackers will use the same techniques as hackers to gain access to its customers' machines.

Richard Brown, threat management department manager at HP Labs, told that once HP has control of a system it will attempt to make the system safe.

The HP Active Countermeasures service will use a single server and 10 clients to scan through a range of IP addresses to scan. They will sniff each address for any flaws and exploit vulnerabilities by sending malformed protocol messages to open ports. Other techniques will include buffer, heap and stack overflows to gain control of clients' systems.

If a machine is such a security risk, HP will shut it down so it's no longer a threat to the infrastructure, Brown said.

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