My presentation for Kids Safety "Safer internet in a virtual world (2006)"


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Back in 2006 I have played with a project that took 24 hours from an idea to its completion. It was a virtual machine in a USB stick, for child safety. A virtual monitored environment.
Now, similar techniques are used from BYOD vendors to protect enterprise data.

I am looking at it again (2014) and it still looks innovative to me. But now wearable devices can play the same role.

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My presentation for Kids Safety "Safer internet in a virtual world (2006)"

  1. 1. Safer Internet in a Virtual World / Virtual Internet for a SAFER world Sotiris Karagiannis IT Consultant Space Hellas S.A. Thessaloniki September 2006
  2. 2. How Many of you Are Parents? We care for our children 
  3. 3. Safer Internet (one tech’s view) The technology challenge(s): – Safer Browsing, collaboration, chat, games for Kids – High immunity in Worms, Viruses, Malicious software that the kids cannot handle – Secure Environment, easy to backup, easy to monitor, easy to carry around – Kid Safe Desktop with Games, Learning Tools – Safe for the Parents also . Not much knowledge required.
  4. 4. Safer Internet (many views) Many Solutions, other speakers have already covered and will cover.. ONE NEW TECHNOLOGY APPROACH : Virtualization
  5. 5. What is virtualization? Virtualization is a HOT topic worldwide The Leaders : – VMWare, – Microsoft, – XEN, – QEMU And many are following
  6. 6. A new CONCEPT The CONCEPT: • • • • We create a VIRTUAL APPLIANCE We install a safe (as it gets) OS inside. We install additional software (Kids Oriented) We secure it / harden it with appropriate software (firewalls, antivirus, web & mail filters, etc) • We add our Proprietary Monitoring software (Space Hellas .pulse IT Monitoring Platform) • We ensure ONE-CLICK Restoration and Safe Integration in the context of HOST machine
  7. 7. The Result What we now have : A new (virtual) appliance that can: – Be carried around in a USB stick (parent can be able to unlock it / U3 technology) – Is safe enough for the Kid and the Parent Machine – Malicious Data is not saved, Safe Appliance can be restored with a click – It can be continuously monitored for “bad behavior” – It can be Viewed / Controlled from Anywhere (parent can help, control the Appliance on demand) – NO-one is hurt, like in the POLO terror-proof experience  (going there…)
  8. 8. The Components What we have used: • Virtualization Technologies: – VMware Player (free), VirtualPC (free) or QEMU (free) • Linux Appliances OS (free): – PuppyLinux, Ubuntu, ZenWalk • Applications (free): – Mozilla Firefox, AbiWord, Gaim, Thunderbird, Various Games, Mono (.net apps), VNC Remote Control • Applications (proprietary): – Space Hellas .pulse Monitoring Platform • Space Hellas Software and a lot of Know-How 
  9. 9. in more Depth.. More Technical: • In WindowsXP, or Linux Host a new account (kid account) in the PARENT’s machine is created. • The Default Shell is changed to run the VA on logon. – OR The VA can boot from USB stick • The Host PC is made unreachable from the VA • The VA can run only in memory and NOT write anything to the HOST PC Hard Disk. • The whole VA can be as small as 60Mbytes !!! • The whole VA can be Locked and carried around with U3 technology USB Flash sticks ( • More functionality is going to be added with cooperations between Space Hellas and ISPs / Government Bodies
  10. 10. A little Demo (VMware/puppy)
  11. 11. The Opportunities The Opportunities: • For ISPs: provide their customers with a safe VA in their ADSL / Internet Offers • For Government: provide the School Network with Safer Kid Desktops, easy to be monitored, easy to be restored. • For Parents: to know that their kids are safer while using the Internet • For Private Schools: Build a safer Infrastructure for their children
  12. 12. The Risks Ideas / Problems / Open Discussion • Privacy concerns (from the child’s perspective) • Ease of Use (from the Parents’ View) • Total Security Solution (?) • Virtualization may be used in many ways (good and bad) • Intel and Symantec are using it as a Hardware based solution (Intel VPro technology)
  13. 13. The Future (is now?) What Now ? – We will explore the possibilities further (Fully Hellenic Virtualization, TCO for a Virtual Unit) – We are in search of (Research) Partners in other areas (e.g. Safety Filters) – We are going to explore the U3 technology – We may produce a stable release tailored for the Hellenic Market
  14. 14. References – VMWare Virtual Appliances ( – QEMU, a generic open source processor emulator ( – PuppyLinux ( – One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC) ( – U3 Technology – Portable Software ( – Space Hellas .Pulse Platfrorm ( D=217)
  15. 15. Thank You Questions / Ideas / Discussion Space Hellas S.A. North Greece Branch Office Tel: +30 2310 502050 Fax: + 30 2310 502025 Contact me at : Sotiris Karagiannis Email: