GFI Software Ltd., a San Gwann, Malta-based mail security company, has begun shipping free versions of the SPF (Sender Policy Framework) as well as a blacklisting module as part of a larger release of its new version of GFIs MailEssentials anti-spam and mail monitoring product. To get the freeware modules, companies must download the free, 60-day trial version of MailEssentials. However, the SPF and blacklisting support will continue to be fully operational for free even if the company does not decide to purchase a license to MailEssentials.
MailEssentials and the free SPF and blacklisting modules work with SMTP mail servers in addition to Exchange servers. According to GFI CEO Nick Galea, MailEssentials includes a number of anti-spam features in addition to the SPF and blacklisting modules. For example, the new version prevents directory harvesting, it includes Bayesian filtering, and it has a number of e-mail management features including archiving and logging.
"Were expecting tens of thousands of downloads per month," Galea said. He added that he is hoping that giving away the Windows SPF capability will help build the installed base of SPF, especially in the Windows community. Galea said that he believes GFI is the first to actually deliver SPF functionality for Windows. Of course, he is also hoping that some of those downloads will become paid installations.
For Michael Labanowski, president of Melco Enterprises, an Albany, N.Y., technology consulting firm, that choice has already been made. Hes already purchased the paid version of MailEssentials 10.1, which includes the SPF and directory harvesting features. In addition, about half of his clients have installed the product on his recommendation.
"Its important because it strips out false e-mail users," Labanowski said. He said hes already had thousands of false e-mail addresses cleaned out of his system in the 36 hours its been in place, and hes already caught about 250 spam messages as a result of SPF. Labanowski said he expects the SPF catches to grow as more ISPs and enterprises adopt it. His clients are getting as much as 92 percent spam in their daily e-mail, and GFIs new software is eliminating almost all of it, he said. Calling the results "dramatic," Laganowski said MailEssentials is as easy and accurate as anything hes seen.
While GFI is among the first companies to support SPF, the same probably wont be true for Microsofts Sender ID. "Its not an open standard," Galea said, adding that he hopes that Microsofts MSN service as well as Yahoo work to combine their respective e-mail standards into a single open standard. Galea said a lot of spam is sent with spoofed MSN and Yahoo addresses. He added that support for SPF by both companies will help greatly reduce spam.