Watching a news segment about ransomware attacks on small business in Australia sparked a debate about what could possibly be done to safeguard those operations and also, in the age of Covid, home offices, proliferating ransomware and hackers moving the goal post to smaller and easier targets.
The consensus was that something was needed for intrusion detection that was easy to understand and not dependent on complex machine learning, constant attention, deep Cyber knowledge and without a propensity for false positives.
The Air Force perspective is that a plane will deploy flares to deflect an incoming missile and a fighter will always attempt to return fire towards the enemy. Why can't we do the same for Cyber? And thus the doctrine of the Gorgon Cyber Defense System was born.
From an engineering perspective it was an interesting challenge. Not only must a single device appear as many through a single network port, but the system also needs the ability to deploy a counter-attack that is effective. Early proto-typing proved the concept and things have just taken off from there.
The Gorgons appear in Greek mythology as the sworn protectors of the Oracle of Delphi. The most famous Gorgon is Medusa who has always been known as the goddess with the snake hair that could turn you into stone if you so much as looked at her. Our decoys work the same way, so the name felt fitting.
Medusa has two sisters: Euryale and Stheno. Inside the product these names will show up for the fixed, fallback decoys that are always active.
The first prototypes were using Raspberry Pi single board computers and break-out boards for custom electronics. The first prototype cases were made out of balsa wood and fibreglass resin.
Not happy with the design, we invested in large 3D resin printers to create better looking and more consistent cases. We also had the first printed circuit boards manufactured and all the soldering work was done at the kitchen table.
Our first 5 prototypes were sent to US partners for testing. Unfortunately it turns out that resin printed enclosures do very poorly under stress and several units arrived damaged. We needed a rethink.
After some searching, trial and error and a few false starts, we finally found a trusted manufacturer in HiGole China. They are able to deliver FCC and CE certified hardware meeting our specifications. Operating System and the Gorgon Software is then loaded at our Australian based facility and from there can be shipped around the world.
Using a touch screen device over a browser interface provides a more intuitive user experience that users instantly can associate with from their every day phone and tablet use. The interface is designed using Google's Material Design framework to keep everything consistent.
You can hang it on the wall or place it on your desk. When nothing suspicious is happening, the display just works as a small clock.
The product was born out of concern for small sites (like a home office or small business) having neither the skills, nor the budget to actively protect themselves from the wave of cyber attacks that are sweeping the internet.
We felt something that was effective, yet simple to understand, easy to set up and very affordable was badly needed.
When working on the device, ideas always kept materializing and we have so many additional features we wish to add. With free software updates for life, stay tuned! We plan to make life even harder for cyber criminals!