A security firm has released a suite of applications contained on a Linux-based mini-computer.
Yoggie Security Systems on Tuesday launched Yoggie Pico — a miniature computer contained on a USB stick. Once plugged in, it "hijacks" internet traffic, screens it for malware and then cleans it if necessary before allowing Windows applications to access the traffic.
The miniature computer runs on Linux version 2.6, and uses a Novell PXA 270 chipset, which offers the same processing power as a Pentium 3 523MHz computer. Security applications include firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, antivirus, anti-spyware and anti-spam. SMTP email traffic is also scanned. The security applications use both signature and behaviour-based malware detection, and signatures are updated hourly.
To stop the Pico itself becoming infected, the operating system is contained on two Flash memories. Flash A contains the operating system. When the device is booted, a clean copy of the operating system is transferred to Flash B, and access to Flash A is disabled. The security applications then run on Flash B, which is wiped when the device is turned off.
If the USB stick is lost or disconnected while the PC is powered up, Yoggie drivers disable all network interfaces and connections. The act of disabling connections can be overruled with a password, although software antivirus will then need to be used. "When you buy the Yoggie Pico you get a thin file system from Kaspersky which you can put in place. I use my computer without a software antivirus suite," said Shlomo Touboul, Yoggie's chief executive officer.
IT managers can control up to 500 units using Yoggie's management server. Each unit costs £106, with licensing from year two at £21.