Fluke adds IPv6 security capabilities to OptiView network analyzer

Oct. 30, 2008
October 30, 2008 -- The growing threat from unknown IPv6 network devices is solved by the OptiView analyzer's new address detection and management capabilities, says the company.

October 30, 2008 -- Fluke Networks, a provider of instruments for the testing, monitoring and analysis of enterprise and telecommunications networks, has released a new version of its OptiView Series III portable network analyzer. The analyzer now features IPv6 discovery and management capabilities for identifying and analyzing IPv6 enabled devices and networks, including IPv6-IPv4 tunneling that could represent a security risk.

Fluke maintains that many networking professionals are unaware of the risks associated with IPv6 and the default settings in many operating systems today, with dual stacks and tunneling protocols automatically enabled.

Command Information, a provider of networking services to Fortune 1000 and government entities, tested the OptiView analyzer's ability to identify and manage IPv6 addressing.

"Command Information is pleased to report that the OptiView Series III Integrated Network Analyzer is in full compliance with all IPv6 addressing requirements," says Jerry Edgerton, CEO of Command Information. "The new OptiView analyzer uses advanced active discovery techniques and active testing to identify and document devices using IPv6. This allows users to quickly recognize devices that are using IPv6, identify open IPv6 ports, expose IPv6 through IPv4 tunneling and differentiate legitimate tunneling from a security breach."

"Many organizations have IPv6 enabled on their systems by default but don't know it," adds Joe Klein, a security researcher with Command. "They also don't have protection in place to block malicious traffic, since some intrusion detection systems and firewalls aren't set up to monitor IPv6 traffic, presenting an avenue through which outsiders can attack their networks undetected. It's like having wireless on your network without knowing it."

The OptiView analyzer's new capabilities are also useful for organizations deliberately deploying IPv6, maintains Fluke. The analyzer permits analysis of IPv6 router advertisements, spotting global and self-assigned link local addresses that cause configuration issues between network devices. The new capabilities also quickly discover devices and applications that are incompatible in a dual-stack environment, essential knowledge for those organizations beginning the transition to IPv6.

The analyzer now also offers an option for full analysis of 802.11n WLANs, and includes coverage of all wireless network technologies (802.11 a/b/g/n). Also new is enhanced VoIP and wireless device discovery. The analyzer now discovers IP phones and IP PBXs from all leading VoIP manufacturers, including Cisco, Nortel, Avaya and Mitel. The device discovers call servers behind the VoIP phone and shows where they are connected on the network. This provides users with a more informed starting point when solving connectivity or call quality issues, says Fluke.

Also via the new OptiView, detailed wireless LAN analysis is now available from the wired side of the network, identifying WLAN controllers, lightweight access points, intelligent access points and wireless clients. This capability speeds identification of both wireless devices and wireless performance parameters (SNR, SSID, RSSI) when analyzing the wired side of the network, a task which formerly required a separate wireless analysis tool.

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