APRIL 1, 2021 VOLUME 7 ISSUE 1 (past issues)

Fulfillment Center Goes Mobile

While the company has vacated office space and gone virtual, Tempered’s Fulfillment Center has shuttered its doors and gone completely mobile, relocating operations to a moving van. The van makes more efficient use of space as employees gather stock from storage units and save thousands on shipping costs -- making direct local deliveries. Traffic is not a problem due to Seattle’s work-from-home mandates. With the van, associates can take advantage of shifting cost structures as one carrier becomes less expensive than another, for out of state and international freight. A dual-modem Airwall-250 installed in the van provides secure, always-on connectivity for the team. “She really is a beauty to drive around,” said Operations Lead Jaran Thompson, “and I never thought I’d be doing so much driving. The BYV really raises brand awareness.” -- referring to the fact that the Big Yellow Van (BYV) serves the dual purpose of product delivery and mobile advertising.
  Tour the BYV mobile Fulfillment Center   View the current delivery schedule

ConductoVR Interface Enables Augmented Reality Policy

Tempered has partnered with Oculus Rift to provide an immersive, 3D cyber-security experience. With ConductoVR, users can browse policy in cyberspace to encounter a whole new level of visualization. ConductoVR employs an Oculus Quest 2 headset connected to a Windows workstation that communicates with Conductor via a Windows Airwall Agent. “As applications and flows are visualized, you can just motion to redirect bypass rules or cut off access,” noted the company’s first VR engineer, “I mean, the visualization of [data] flows is just awesome.” The engineers have been working on manipulating policies for layer 4 traffic, which improves the Conductor’s ability to specify what applications are accessible on any given network.
  Schedule your hands-on ConductoVR demo now    Watch a virtual policy fly-by demo

CQL Conductor Query Language Enhances Search

The Conductor search box gained a big upgrade in the latest 2.2.11 firmware release. It now supports CQL - Conductor Query Language, for examining devices, overlays, Airwalls, alerts, and other data in the Conductor. “With CQL you can tailor your search to get exactly the results you need,” the lead developer commented, “by writing queries for specific criteria.” The search box is enhanced with tab auto-completion plus a search suggest drop-down list that suggests CQL shortcuts from combined history and predictive search terms.
  Test drive the new CQL-powered search   Submit query language feedback

tn_auto Integrated into Airshell

The Quality Assurance team completed a project to bring tn_auto support to the Airshell command-line interface. The tn_auto tool allows testers to spin up virtual environments for testing various Airwall features. “Now from any test build, I can connect my physical Airwall with a virtual network of Airwalls using the console,” explains a test engineering intern, “And we can connect to any of the test harnesses.” This internal tooling is expected to expand test coverage by 35%, possibly shaving one day from the release candidate testing cycle.

  Sign up for the tn_auto webinar     View the updated Airshell help documentation

Socially Distant Foosball

Developers began trials of a new socially-distant foosball table installed in the Lynnwood common area. The table features three-foot-long poles to keep human players on opposite sides of the table at least six feet apart. Special mirrors are installed to reflect the action to the more distant player vantage point. “I definitely miss using the old table,” noted Mickey Agla, “since you’re not really standing right over the action on the SD [socially-distant] table; but it’s not too bad.” With current state and county guidelines, the table only supports two-player games, as four players would be standing closer than allowed.
  Browse Foosball opening day photo gallery

Secret Agent Software Lands Contract

Tempered won a contract to apply its technology in order to securely monitor employee traffic, after introducing the Secret Agent feature within the Windows Airwall Agent. The Secret Agent variant has a headless installer that can be remotely initiated by administrators. The GUI tray is also hidden, and a transparent hidden NDIS driver intercepts all system traffic. Traffic is typically tunneled to tools that provide intrusion detection and data exfiltration protection.
  Link to the Secret Agent datasheet

Virtual Gong Rings in New Sales

Tempered installed a new virtual gong to announce big sales wins, temporarily replacing their award-winning gong while workers are remote. The Northwest Gongological Society (NWGS) recognizes small business hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and provides NWGS member companies with access to its virtual gong development team. Team designers worked with a Tempered committee to establish a good resonant tonal quality and aesthetic match with other Tempered brand collateral. The gong ringer dons a virtual reality headset and holds a special electronic mallet, having accelerometers sensitive to any swinging movement. Zoom participants can follow along with live video as the virtual gong features its own Zoom account integration for virtual gatherings.
  Watch the inaugural virtual gong ringing

Airplanewall Purpose-built Flight-worthy Box Announced

Certification was completed this month for the Airplanewall 430 series - Tempered’s first purpose-built flight-worthy Airwall. The APW-430 secures onboard and offboard communications. Airlines are signing up to use the APW-430 to segment in-flight entertainment systems, secure ground-based connectivity while at airports, and for sharing satellite Internet for services beyond just onboard WiFi.
  Sign up for Airplanewall 430 sales demo  
  Airplanewall 430 spec sheet

Consistency Checker Clears Out Nonsensical Emoji

The Conductor consistency checker now leverages machine learning techniques in order to clear out nonsensical emoji from anywhere in its database. Ever since emoji support was added to tags and smart group naming, large amounts of emoji have been problematic for public-facing sites like Airwall Teams “It’s great to finally have an automatic clean-up system,” said David Millers, who oversees site operations for Airwall Teams, “This allows the system to run much more smoothly.”

Atomic Time Arrives for Airwall 150

A radio clock expansion module was added as an option for the Airwall 150. With this module installed, the Airwall uses 60KHz clock signals as an ultra-accurate time source. Informally dubbed as the “Atomic Airwall”, the module is in demand by customers needing always-available, accurate time synchronization. Time-based access policies can be applied simultaneously across an Airwall deployment without reliance on PTP or NTP time servers. This is important as many of these Airwalls protect networks that have no outbound Internet connection. Administrators can also schedule time windows for fetching policy updates from Conductor.
  Download the Radio Clock Expansion Module datasheet     View ultra-accurate time source applications gallery

2.2.6 Release Found During Office Move

Some time during the December office move, an employee found the 2.2.6 release while cleaning out vacant office desks. The 2.2.8 release was ready to go last July, following 2.2.5 in April, so work-from-home engineers had forgotten about the never-before released 2.2.6 firmware, which was a small, targeted bugfix release. “I guess 2.2.6 was such a small release that we lost it as the coronavirus pandemic hit,” remarked Matt Richards of Product Development. Richards assured that all bugfixes in 2.2.6 already made it into the 2.2.8 release.

  View 2.2.6 release notes     Download 2.2.6 release files

Harnhash256 Hashing Algorithm Patented

The Conductor Team was granted a patent for the Harnhash 256 hashing algorithm, a home-grown algorithm developed by one of their engineers. Harnhash 256 solves a problem unique to Multi Multi Factor Authentication and user authentication. While the patent was recently granted, it took several years to obtain official validation by the Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP). The algorithm operates completely behind the scenes, so users likely don’t know it is there. Discussions are underway about potential licensing agreements if the algorithm proves useful to partner organizations.
  Download the Harnhash 256 white paper

(past issues of the Tonion)