-- Writing Index / Samples - for AltaVista

    Written for AltaVista MarketSpace

        by Bill Ross -- a sample product marketing piece that was published in the e-commerce companion site to the original AltaVista Search, '96-99. This "Overview" linked deeper to a "Tech View" and online try-buy opportunities.

        (Note: this was a very slow, graphics-intensive site, so we've extracted here the material that was the focus of the page.)

        AltaVista Tunnel 97:
        Roam Freely - Connect Securely

        Put a firewall's lock on your intranet, and take a key with you: that's AltaVista Tunnel 97. Use the Internet to your own advantage with secure, remote intranet access through your firewall - from anywhere in the connected world.

        Try it Today - FREE Download!
        Purchase AltaVista Tunnel 97

        With this latest version of the popular AltaVista Tunnel, you get the highly secure connection with the information, people, and resources you need from behind your corporate firewalls. New features, including support for over 200 concurrent connections and more views for system admin's, make it even more a pleasure.

        If you can move the information and resources at your disposal in an efficient and timely way, you can channel these forces into achieving your business goals. But it's got to be secure. AltaVista Tunnel 97 reliably connects you to your intranet, your corporate brain, from anywhere you can hook up to the Internet. With its "strong encryption" (128-bit in the U.S., 56-bit for export - the most powerful allowed by the U.S. government), AltaVista Tunnel 97 protects your communications like no other.

        Measure it against the cost of expensive leased lines, and it's no contest. AltaVista Tunnel 97 will save your company real money, at the same time it saves you any worries about the confidentiality of conducting your business online.

        NEW in AltaVista Tunnel 97!

        • AltaVista Tunnel 97 supports 200 concurrent connections on NT! It means support for many more PCs since not all clients are connected at a time
        • now supports Windows NT on Digital Alpha for screaming performance
        • many enhancements to increase tunnel connections' performance and reliability by a close integration with Windows NT.
        • system administrators can now see the status of tunnel sessions' various stages (e.g. authorizing, connecting, running...etc.)
        • exportable, full 56-bit "strong encryption" product in addition to its 128 bit US version
        A General Description of Tunneling

        The Basic Setup

        AltaVista Tunneling is accomplished with two complementary products: the Workgroup Edition and Personal Edition.
        • The Workgroup Edition, required for all tunneling (for authorization, authentication, and management), connects two servers to support confidential organization-to-organization communications, or multiple Personal Edition clients.
        • The Personal Edition enables you to securely connect a client personal computer to a server running the Workgroup Edition, in your private intranet via the Internet.
        How Tunneling Works
        Tunneling allows information to be securely passed between a Server and another computer over a public network, as if the two were connected by a single physical wire.

        The process of sending information through tunnels is simple and straightforward. After authenticating the tunnel client and the tunnel server, information is encrypted by its sender, encapsulated into TCP/IP data packets, and sent across the Internet as unreadable and unrecognizable data.

        Once they reach their final destination, the packets are reconstituted, and decrypted into a readable form. Note that a system running the Workgroup or Personal Edition software may be a client, while only a system running the Workgroup Edition may be a server (tunnel management station).

        Authentication and Encryption
        AltaVista Tunnel 97 employs RSA Public Key Cryptosystem (512 bit) for authentication and session key exchange, and RSA RC4 Symmetric Stream Cipher for bulk data encryption. Cryptographic identity and keys are tied to the user, leaving the IP address free to be dynamically assigned.

        Once the authenticated tunnel session is created, the tunnel server and tunnel client automatically switch from public key encryption to RC4-based secret key encryption to perform bulk data encryption and transmission. At 30-minute intervals, the tunnel client and server pass new session keys back and forth to decode transmitted data. During data packet transmission, each packet is integrity protected and authenticated by MD5.

        In conformance with federal export regulations, the U.S. version of the AltaVista Tunnel 97 employs a 128-bit RC4 key, while the international version supports a 56-bit RC4 key. Previous international versions of this product only supported a 40-bit RCA key.

        When creating a multinational tunnel, automatic arbitration reconciles any encryption discrepancies transparently. This enables both the tunnel client and server to operate in the highest common encryption key mode supported.

        This product is classified as "ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) Controlled." The usage and intent of this sensitive product shall therefore comply to any related export and import laws.

        Firewall Independence
        Most Internet-connected companies and organizations employ firewalls to protect the information on their private networks from Internet invaders. Because the AltaVista Tunnel 97 uses encryption and authentication to protect that information as it is transmitted across the Internet, it is a natural complement to any firewall.

        However, a firewall is not a prerequisite for the AltaVista Tunnel 97 which delivers a highly flexible firewall-independent solution. The AltaVista Tunnel 97 Workgroup Edition can run on a system with the AltaVista Firewall or it can run on a separate system behind a firewall that protects it from the Internet.

        OnSite Computing is the hottest new way to use computers to do business: simple, direct access to information and people no matter where you or they happen to be. It's simple because it uses standard Web browsers to bring the universal Internet to your company's intranet. OnSite Computing means speed: you can do real work from any location, and fast communication means having the competitive edge.


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