Hacker Marketplace to Help Build 0day Appliance

WabiSabiLabi, the company best known for building an online marketplace for security flaws, is getting into the hardware business.

The company is working with an unknown Italian company called Oneshield Security to build a unified threat management (UTM) appliance that will integrate the research generated by WabiSabiLabi's network of researchers.

WabiSabiLabi did not say how this partnership will benefit the independent researchers who contribute to the company's marketplace of unpatched "0day" vulnerabilities, but that information will be forthcoming, said founder Roberto Preatoni in a blog posting.

UTM appliances blend several security products into one server. In addition to protecting from the WabiSabiLabi 0day attacks, the Oneshield device can serve as a firewall and antivirus device and will provide protection from many different threats, including denial of service (DOS) attacks.

Since its founding nearly a year ago, WabiSabiLabi has garnered a lot of attention because of its controversial open-market approach to selling software vulnerabilities as well as the legal troubles of Preatoni, who was arrested by Italian police in November on spying charges.

Preatoni, a colorful and well-known figure in security research circles, had worked as a penetration tester for Italy's largest telecommunications company, Telecom Italia. According to news reports, Preatoni helped staff a 10-member "Tiger Team" that has now been accused of hacking and spying on business executives and journalists in Italy.

Last month, Preatoni broke his silence on the case and said that he would stay on with WabiSabiLabi.

By integrating its unique research into a single device, Oneshield is doing the same thing as many larger security companies, said Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "It's not unusual for companies to integrate customer premise equipment with threat research that they do," he said. "The thing that's unusual here is that they're looking to recruit partners to provide these services."

Oneshield expects to start shipping its appliance at the beginning of June. The company has not said what it plans to charge for the appliance, or for the optional managed security services package that will ship with it.

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