During a recent information security audit, I ran across a “unified threat management” system that I had not seen before called Untangle (www.untangle.com).  The bank was using it in place of a traditional firewall.  According the Untangle website, the Untangle Gateway is “the world’s first commercial-grade open source solution for blocking spam, spyware, viruses, adware and unwanted content on the network, provides a free and better alternative to costly, inflexible proprietary appliances.”  The interesting part is that the gateway runs on Linux and all the “modules” (firewall, IPS, web content blocker, etc.) are open source downloads, so the gateway is a free download.  Additionally, the source code for the Untangle gateway is available for download. [more]

You can choose to pay for certain modules such as Untangle support, an Active Directory connector, Kaspersky virus blocker, etc..  However, the rest of the modules can be downloaded and installed from a very simple GUI for free.  So far, I have not been able to find any major vulnerabilities or issues with this software.  Their target market is small to medium businesses that don’t want to pay the big bucks for Cisco, SonicWall, and other proprietary appliances.

Untangle also makes another product called “Re-Router” that is a network gateway/proxy server that runs in background on a Windows XP workstation.