The first family of Unified Threat management (UTM) security gateways to feature integration with a ‘zero day' attack database is set for launch later this month.

The new OneShield appliances are the work of controversial exploits marketplace Wabisabilabi, which co-developed them with startup hardware vendor OneShield Security, after trailing the development earlier this year.

More extraordinary, however, Wabissabilabi plans to allow security researchers to sell the exploits they discover directly to customers of the new boxes, a business model never before tried in the security industry.

There are four appliances in the family, starting with the ‘Nano', a remote site security gateway for up to 25 users, a ‘Business' version for up to 100 users, a ‘Pro' for up to 250 users, and the ‘Enterprise' for up to 500. Firewall throughput varies from 200Mbits/s for the Nano, and moves up in 500MBits/s steps to the 2Gbits/s of the Enterprise model.

A fifth box - the ‘Micro' - will be aimed at small networks somewhere between the Nano and the Business models, and will follow at an unspecified point after the initial launch.

The OneShield-Wabisabilabi appliances are outwardly much like any other UTM box, featuring firewalling, intrusion detection (IDS), secure VPN, proxying and Denial of service protection, anti-spam, and anti-virus. The high-end Enterprise comes with high-availability features such as hot-swap hard disks, 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports and multi-processor cores to enable peak throughput.

The more radical selling point is the way the intrusion detection system is tied into Wabisabilabi's zero day database.

According to Roberto Preatoni, the company's chief technical officer, the original researchers of these flaws will be rewarded as subscribers pay for updates to the database, in essence earning them ongoing revenue.

"No more ‘one shot peanuts' as the researchers used to get as a treatment from the traditional hardware/software security producers; as long as their signatures will be useful, they will keep cashing money," he said.

The company also planned to create a portal to allow researchers to sell their vulnerabilities directly to OneShield customers, he indicated.

"In that direction we already have set up alliances with renowned security researchers (more details after the HITB security conference) and we have already security signatures packs ready to be sold."

A small Italian-Swiss outfit, Wabisabilabi has had an eventful first year or so of existence, managing to attract condemnation for a business model that involves buying software vulnerabilities from researchers, which are then sold on to the highest bidder - the company has always stressed that both parties are carefully vetted first.

In a twist unrelated to the company's business, Preatoni himself was arrested by Italian police on charges related to a long-running spying case involving Telecom Italia, a company he had had previously worked for. He was released in April.

The products will be launched officially at the HITB Security Conference in Malaysia in late October.