Securing IM
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Thread: Securing IM

  1. #1
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    Securing IM

    Heya folks, once again I have a question for yall. So recently I've been put in charge of finding a program to secure our IM chat and transfers with some sort of encryption or something. We also would like the ability to log all conversations. The company wants to stick with using MSN messenger because they don't want everyone to have to get used to another messenger program. Anyway, I was going to use Network Twister from www.networktwister.com. However, whenever I install it on a server and get it up and running it seems to take up all the spare processing time. On a server with 2 processors it just takes all the processing time on one. I've tried disabling McAfee but that didn't seem to make a difference. This is on a win2k3 server fully patched. Oh, there's also an error that comes with it. I'll attach the txt file with the contents copied in. I've also tried starting the service as administrator, which made no difference either.


    So anyone have any idea what's going on? If not, anyone have any ideas on a different program I should try out? Anyway, it will probably be Monday before I can check the site again so thanks in advance.

    Thanks,
    Greg

  2. #2
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    Just curious on how they expect you to implement that piece of software. It looks like a server piece that you connect to, with the MSN client? If thats the case the MSN client only talks in clear text as far as I know. You said that you want to continue to use this client because of the ease of use and the fact that everyone is used to it, but this might be a bad idea being that the client itself isn't that secure. I personally suggest jabber. Its an open source IM type deal. There are many clients that connect to a jabber server, and you can setup gateways where the connected clients can talk to MSN/Yahoo/etc services from their one client. Client to server communication is encrypted, although if you leave your own network and goto one of the major ones like MSN or such it will of course be in clear text as this is what their service accepts.

  3. #3
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    I am not too sure about the encryption part, but what I recently implemented was Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 which works well with SQL to log the conversations. As for encryption, I will look further into that. The "downside" with the switch is cost, and a slighty new UI. Instead of using MSN messenger, you will have to switch to Windows Messenger. They are VERY similar. You will need the latest version of Windows Messenger as well to support the SIP connection. It was fairly easy to setup as well. Just my 2cents.

    As an added note, you said you have a 2k3 server fully patched...does this include SP1? If so, is Network Twister compatible with SP1? Do you need to make any changes in the SP1 firewall? Can't say I have used it before, but those are some things to look at. Best wishes.

    Links for LiveServer and Windows Messenger:

    http://snipurl.com/alo8

    http://snipurl.com/b2n6


    Edit: Looks like you CAN do encryption...sorry its late at night and I forgot about this feature....just came back from Alaska too :)

    http://snipurl.com/f2p7
    Sex is like \"Social Security\". You get a little each month, but it\'s not enough to live on.

  4. #4
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    Have you looked at this:
    http://www.secway.fr/products/all.php?PARAM=us

    "Simp Pro secures your MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ and AOL instant messenger clients.
    For corporate environments and more demanding users, SimpPro encrypts and authenticates messages as well as file transfers (MSN Messenger only), making it the most comprehensive instant messenger security add-on.
    It is also easily administered using GPOs."

  5. #5
    Senior Member kr5kernel's Avatar
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    Gaim ( the opensource version of AIM) has the ability to use an SSL plugin. I know you said you didn't want to really switch from MSN, but it might be something to check out:

    http://gaim.sourceforge.net/faq-ssl.php

    <edit>

    Gaim will also work with MSN and jabber over SSL

    </edit>
    kr5kernel
    (kr5kernel at hotmail dot com)
    Linux: Making Penguins Cool Since 1994.

  6. #6
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    Actually, Im a network administrator for a network of about 70 users. I had an issue of securing IM at first, and I also wanted to log all conversations and make my users only use AOL instant messenger. I found a new program which was released in february to the market called IM Manager by IMlogic. Its really really amazing, i've been using it for a couple of months and I got absolutely no problems at all. Now, i have all the conversations logged, everybody uses AIM, im blocking certain file extenstions from being sent or received, i block messages with certain keywords to be sent, i actually caught one of employees leaking confidential information, as I had a keyword monitored so the prgram prompt me with it, and he was fired. An incident happened to a company lately which I cant remember its name, but they got infected by a virus over IM and lost over 1000 computers and they had to pay around $350 to fix every computer. If they had used IM Manager by that time, they would have saved $350000. The program is not expensive at all and very easy to set up. If you have any more questions, please dont hesitate to ask. Regards.

  7. #7
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    Dont forget folks, this guy/girl wants to stick with messenger (MS).
    Sex is like \"Social Security\". You get a little each month, but it\'s not enough to live on.

  8. #8
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    yeah...IM Manager integrates all these clients like MSN, yahoo, AIM, ICQ, jabber, ..etc
    So he can choose just to operate MSN if he wants.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kr5kernel's Avatar
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    Sounds like that company coudl have saved $350,000 by purchasing anti-virus or having better security policies in place to begin with.

    Anywho, check out Gaim, liek I said it works with MSN, and it has the lowest cost around....free.
    kr5kernel
    (kr5kernel at hotmail dot com)
    Linux: Making Penguins Cool Since 1994.

  10. #10
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    Cool, thanks for all the advice folks, think I'm going to take a look at SimpPro. They seem to have some cheaper pricing too. Now I just gotta see if I can find a Trial version to experiment with. I think I'll take a loot at IM manager too, I don't see a trial version for them either. Oh well, will see if they will send me one along with a quote for pricing.

    Thanks again,
    Greg

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