McAfee On The Offensive


Software flags, repairs exposed areas of the network


The McAfee Security division of Network Associates this week plans to unveil a new tool to combat computer viruses before they hit.

ThreatScan checks a network for vulnerabilities that viruses are known to exploit, said Candace Worley, product manager at McAfee Security, based here. For example, it searches for open shares, which the FunLove virus exploited to proliferate in 1999, she said. It also identifies applications such as Microsoft Internet Information Server, which the Code Red worm exploited in 2001, and operating-system patches.

ThreatScan, which works with McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator management console, also recommends ways of fixing vulnerabilities. The goal is to help prevent virus infections proactively, Worley said.

Sarah Modigliani, director of sales at Boston-based solution provider TLIC Worldwide, said ThreatScan complements McAfee's antivirus software. "The ability to test your network for vulnerabilities that are specific to virus dangers is extremely helpful," she said. "I foresee it being a very hot product."

ThreatScan is available for Microsoft Windows NT or Windows 2000 Server and is compatible with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5 or higher. ThreatScan costs $21.64 per user for a two-year license and one year of support for 25 to 500 nodes. The cost is $18.80 per user for 501 to 1,000 nodes.

Meanwhile, Network Associates last week said the Securities and Exchange Commission launched a formal investigation of its accounting practices for fiscal 2000, before the arrival of current management.

Network Associates said it reviewed its accounting with outside auditors and believes it was proper.

Because of the probe, Network Associates said it postponed its proposed buyout of McAfee.com, which provides Web-based antivirus services. Network Associates owns 75 percent of McAfee.com. Just before the SEC disclosure, McAfee.com had rejected the bid as inadequate.