OS/400 Edition
Volume 2, Number 24 -- June 25, 2002

Kisco Reissues TN5250 Security Tool

by Alex Woodie

Kisco Information Systems has reissued a utility for securing Telnet terminal emulation sessions to AS/400 and iSeries servers. OnePass/400 bolsters security by providing a second layer of authentication for anybody attempting to access an OS/400 server over the Internet using Telnet client software. OnePass/400, which was first released in 2000, is now part of Kisco's security suite, the Saranac Lakes, New York, company has announced.


Telnet is one of those bittersweet pills the OS/400 platform has had to swallow. As the TCP/IP standard for terminal emulation software, Telnet enables users to sign on to AS/400 and iSeries servers in the same way they can access Unix and Windows hosts. However, Telnet also poses a security risk, as hackers can use it to gain control of servers, including the iSeries.

OnePass/400 addresses potential security holes created by TN5250 access by introducing a second level of authentication to the Telnet sign-on process. Instead of providing just a user name and a password, any user who wants to sign on to an AS/400 or iSeries server using TN5250 client software must correctly enter a second password to access OS/400 servers loaded with OnePass/400.

However, those using "sniffer" software to spy on TN5250 sign-on requests over the Internet would be able to read this second password just as easily as they can see TN5250 user IDs and passwords now, Kisco says. With OnePass/400, however, as soon as the second password is used, it's retired, and the OnePass/400 system creates a new password for the next time around. So even though hackers could see the OnePass/400 password, they couldn’t use it to log on to the system.

OnePass/400 also keeps logs of all TN5250 access attempts--those that succeed, as well as those that fail. The software also features an alerting system for notifying systems administrators of TN5250 access attempts that fail. Additionally, the software can be configured to recognize sign-on context, so that the second password is used only when the extra security is needed.

OnePass/400 works with IBM's Client Access software and third-party TN5250 and VT100 (Unix) terminal emulation programs, Kisco says. OnePass/400 costs $895, regardless of the size or model of AS/400 or iSeries it's loaded on. For more information, visit

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News Briefs and Product Shorts

Alex Woodie

Managing Editor
Shannon Pastore

Contributing Editors:
Dan Burger
Joe Hertvik
Shannon O'Donnell
Timothy Prickett Morgan

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Last Updated: 6/25/02
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