Melior’s main focus:
Developing and selling signature-free Internet and IT CyberWarfare Defense solutions with a particular focus on infrastructure protection: distributed Denial-of-Service attacks in all its flavors, and wired-network / WiFi security.
My role as Founder & CEO: Run the company, hire engineering, human ressources, office and sales staff; oversee product development; investor relations and fund raising; maintain contacts and relations to government agencies (USA and EU) and large clients.
The company succeeded in many ways:
“Barbican Gate Keeper” Developed first working defense against distributed Denial-of-Service (dDoS) attacks – without any signatures (pattern or otherwise) – able to successfully defend against zero-day attacks: all attacks intercepted by the in-line invisible device are looked at as new, as there is no comparision to previously-seen attacks, making the device and its pass / fail decision engine very fast. Watch the video if you are interested to learn more and see a demo of the original prototype “iSecure”.
Penetration Test Protection – the inline device also intercepted all exploratory traffic probing the infrastructure behind it; responding to the intercepted probes with false and misleading information, simulating an “all ports open” impression, leaving a potential attacker at a loss as to what he / she was seeing.
Protected 300 million users against dDoS attacks, by successfully defending SpamHaus, SORBS, and other anti-Spam databases against dDoS attacks, which lasted for over 1 year on and off.
Contributions to DoD / NSA / DoD-NSA Security Proof Of Concept Keystone (SPOCK) Program, FBI Infraguard, US Secret Service N-TEC (North Texas Electronic Crimes Task Force), other DHS Agencies, Operation “WebSnare”, and other cyber crime efforts. Here is a 2003 presentation we made to the NSA (for their SPOCK Program, which we were a member of), showing the technology we developed. And one we made to Lockheed Martin in June 2004(PDF conversion in 2019, thus some formatting issues).
Consulting the US Secret Service office in how to handle real-time attacks – they had only capabilities for forensics (after-the-fact analysis). The various tasks for the USSS (counterfeiting, securities, protection & security) are spread across the major local offices around the nation; the Dallas office is the one tasked with cyber crime and its prosecution.
Internet Infrastructure & Security Services – implementing network security and the dDoS in-line devices.
Prototype WiFi ‘Wardriving’ Van, for demonstrations of (failed) wireless network security to large corporations, especially telecommunications, banks, and other critical infrastructure providers. This vehicle was the first of its kind in 2001, able to collect WiFi traffic in a radius of 1.5 miles while moving, and de-crpyting it with on-board computing hardware running AirSnort. It was shown and demonstrated at the DEFCON conference in Las Vegas, and while co-sponsoring a WiFi conference in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, a cross-bay long-range WiFi traffic scan was shown from the Marin headlands targeting downtown San Francisco in an eight-mile distance; collecting traffic from over 80 detected networks.
Cray / Cluster Computer-based encryption breaking demos to show fairly inexpensive hardware could break even long keys in a time of several hours – often quick enough to have the result after a business demonstration was completed: raising awareness for network security and thus the need for CyberWarfare Defense products.
Deployed & operated first free WiFi network in Dallas, won “7th most un-wired US city” title for the City Dallas, which was widely covered in WIRED magazine 4/2003
To help with the fund raising, I also started yet another Delaware C-Corporation, MTM Venture Capital
If you wonder about all those gun and training pictures below – we WERE quite successful in defending the global anti-Spam databases with our product throughout 2002 and 2003, when the Russian Mafia (which sent 90% of all that spam) attempted to take them all out with dDoS attacks.
With us succeeding to keep the two main ones up (SpamHaus in London and SORBS in Australia) and thus over 300 million users combined from spam floods, we were costing the Russian Mafia approximately $40 million every month in lost revenue. We (as the computer geeks) did not perceive this really as a problem for us, until the FBI alerted us to take that threat seriously, and we completed the installation of bullet-resistant LEXAN (plastic) office window reinforcements (most were already installed in the loft / compound from a high-crime time in the 1980s), installed the very bright Iridium lights around the compound (turning night to day around the office when the sun was gone), installed high-resolution security cameras in heated casings around the building, installed a high-tech alarm system with alerts to both the alarm company as well as the Dallas Police HQ three blocks away, and invested in a large, heavy-duty safe to store the most valuable prototypes, source code, and such in.
Dallas PD also often parked one of their old cruisers (decoy cars) in front of our office as a deterrent and as a favor to us, conducted a lot of activity around our compound for the same reasons; and agents from all local and federal agencies often stopped by for a coffee and a chat, because it was cool at the time to hang out with us, and also as a deterrent to the ‘bad guys’ (we encouraged it, and invested in a nice coffee machine).
Because of this threat, as the CEO I also had the Level II bullet-resistant vest with trauma plate (up to .45cal) – which cost me $1,400 – and most senior staff carried concealed guns (with Texas CHL permits, of course); we regularly hired a special forces guy for a Saturday afternoon to refresh self-defense training with and without guns for the entire staff, and regularly practiced at the various gun ranges around Dallas.
It surely also helped we had these former Law Enforcement Ford Crown Vic P71 company fleet of cars – which we bought for the (cheap) price and their durability: but they turned out to be a great marketing tool with the dDoS logos on them, and served also as a deterrant against “normal” crime in the office area, as well as business-induced threats.
Luckily, nothing serious ever “happened”; Cruiser #6 was rammed on the street while parked one night, and we experienced an attempted nightly burglary in the compound, which failed due to silent alarm before they could even get inside the building; the intruders were quite forcefully apprehended by Dallas PD – this is what broke the automatic gate (see picture below; you might say motivated Texas cops sure do not mess around, especially if they competed with all these federal agencies for our attention).