Barracuda shows off 'power of data' to fight virus


Barracuda Networks used "the power of data" to get protection out for the notorious Here You Have virus before any other security vendor, it has claimed.

The Here You Have attack became widespread in September when targets were sent emails containing a link to a malicious file.

It took out severs at a number of big-time corporations and affected firms including Coca-Cola and Time Warner, explained Barracuda chief executive (CEO) Dean Drako, speaking at the company's summit in Austria today.

The attacks hit 8.44am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and Barracuda was made aware of them at 8.46am.

Barracuda then moved quickly to get defence systems out to all of the company's 110,000 customers to block the virus by 8.48am, the CEO said.

This was ahead of some major players in the security sector, including Sophos, Drako claimed.

According to Drako, vendors other than Barracuda took between six and 24 hours to get defences out.

However, Sophos has informed IT PRO it first caught sight of the virus at 10:31am PDT on 9 September and blocked the threat as suspicious.

"That doesn't mean that we weren't protecting against it before then, of course, but that's the earliest example we can find in our traps," said Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley.

"We didn't have to write any new code to block the email as suspicious, so it's likely we would have blocked all of them proactively for our customers."

Regardless of Drako's claims over other vendors and their reaction to the virus, the CEO put Barracuda's quick response down to "the power of data."

"A lot of data and a lot of analysis of that data allows us to provide better security for our customers."

The Barracuda team studies around two billion emails and 60 billion web requests every day and uses this data to help deal with threats.

Despite his company's past successes in rolling out fixes, Drako admitted dealing with attacks had become increasingly challenging.

"Security is hard and it is getting harder," he told delegates.

"Security is complicated and the hackers are actually getting a lot smarter, they are big teams of people, there is an economy."

The Barracuda engineering team is now working on how to further embed analysis into services, such as virus scanning and website logging, and plans to put this into the Barracuda NG Firewall product soon, Drako added.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.