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DATE: Thu Sep 14, 1995 4:21 pm
Until recently I was under the impression that our organization did
not have Internet access. I recently discovered that one
department has established a home grown network link. Forget about
security policies. That won't happen until we crash and burn.
Please evaluate this scenario for me. What are our risks? If the
responses are appropriate for the list, please email directly.
A PC was configured to serve modems to the local area
network for dial-out service only, using software from
Synergy Solutions called Modem Assist Plus. This software,
which consists of both a client and server portion allows
for transparent PC communications(COM) port redirection. It
does this by capturing all data intended for the PC's COM
port and bundling it into Netbios messages and sending them
to the Server PC. This data is then unpacked and sent to one
of the attached modems. The server in turn bundles any data
it receives into Netbios messages and sends the data back to
the client. This permits any PC based communication program
to transparently access the modems on the Modem Server.
Requests for modems are queued by the server and users are
notified of the availability of a modem so that they can
either wait in the queue or try to access a modem later. The
client portion of the software is Windows based so that DOS
conventional memory requirements are not a factor.
Access to the internet is provided through CompuServe Inc.'s
PPP/SLIP access using their WINSOCK.DLL. This WINSOCK is
pre-configured to work properly with CompuServe's PPP/SLIP
servers. All users access the same PPP/SLIP account.
The modems and server are accessible from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M.
Monday through Friday. The server and modems are on a timer
that cuts the power at all other times. This was done to
dissuade users from abusing the service.
Currently the system will support four simultaneous
connections. We have purchased a 50 seat network license to
use Netscape Navigator for accessing the World Wide Web,
newsgroups, ftp sites, and email.
Henry Lemon Opinions expressed are mine
Aristech Chemical Corp. and not those of my employer
600 Grant St.
Pittsburgh PA 15201