The New Zealand Defence Force is to use an international conference to put a product created by Auckland company Esphion against distributed denial of service attacks through its paces.
The event, known as the Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (Jwid), will involve defence personnel from New Zealand, Australia, the UK the US and Canada. It is aimed at letting the forces see new technology in an appropriate setting to judge its relevance to military operations.
If you send defence service personnel to a regular computer trade show they see the products and services in a commercial context and their potential use in warfare is difficult to appreciate, says NZDF spokesman Ian Shearer.
Jwid is held at one or more physical venues in each country (there will be three this year in New Zealand) and the national sites are linked by a WAN. This enables experiments to be performed with new technology using the international links, and this year that will be done with the Esphion product, NetDeflect.
New Zealand will also be crucially involved in testing a US-originated IP compression tool, since our link on the WAN is comparatively skinny, at 256Kbit/s.
“We’re told fast compression and decompression will get us effective throughputs of more than 1Mbit/s,” Shearer says.
NetDeflect is the only anti-DDoS product that NZDF will be testing, but there will be a “media and VIP day” at Jwid, where selected media and members of the public will be admitted. NZDF expects that someone at one of the venues might raise the name of an alternative product that does the same job, so the forces can bring that in for test too.
At present the NZDF is considering NetDeflect’s potential purely within a military context, but Shearer says Defence appreciates its and rival DDoS shielding products’ role in the wider protection of the nation’s essential computer networks.
“I have talked about it with the man [Jay Garden] who runs the Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CCIP)”, he says.
Garden has flagged distributed denial of service attacks as a high priority for CCIP’s attention (see Spy boss fears DdoS). Jwid will take place between May 13 and 24.