Fight Against Spam Continues

 
 
By Dennis Callaghan  |  Posted 2004-01-26
 
 
 

New government regulation of bulk e-mailing notwithstanding, the technology fight continues against spam. Mirapoint Inc. is rolling out two Internet appliances designed to control spam, while CipherTrust Inc. aims to stay one step ahead of spammers with a new version of its anti-spam appliance.

Mirapoint this week will introduce the appliances, the RazorGate 100 and RazorGate 300. Like IronMail, they are designed to be installed at the edge of the enterprise and work in tandem with e-mail servers, blocking not only spam but also viruses and hacker attacks. Mirapoints Full-Spectrum spam-blocking software is preinstalled on the appliances.

The RazorGate 100 includes DirectPath, for message traffic scanning and policy-based content filtering of message bodies, headers, subject lines and attachments. The RazorGate 100 is intended for organizations of up to 1,500 users and is priced at $4,995.

The RazorGate 300 is targeted at organizations with up to 5,000 users and adds integrated LDAP routing within the network or between multiple mail servers, integrated queue management, wiretap support for e-mail monitoring, and a secure e-mail access proxy for Web mail clients. It boasts carrier-grade reliability, according to Mirapoint officials in Sunnyvale, Calif.

The RazorGate 300 is priced at $12,500.

Separately, Version 4.0 of CipherTrusts IronMail anti-spam appliance adds three new techniques for detecting spam to IronMails Enterprise Spam Profiler. These include localized Bayesian filtering, which adapts to users quarantine lists and reporting of spam; support for domain blacklists to prevent phishing for valid e-mail addresses by spammers; and URL filtering that can block messages that refer to up to 18,000 URLs that spammers are trying to get users to visit.

IronMail 4.0 comes preconfigured with predetermined confidence values, which are calculated by testing the effectiveness and accuracy of each detection technique within Enterprise Spam Profiler against spam and legitimate e-mail messages. It then runs the corresponding data through a genetic algorithm.

These confidence values shift ongoing administration of the software from IT departments to CipherTrusts research team, according to CipherTrust officials in Alpharetta, Ga.

Ingersoll-Rand Co. uses IronMail 4.0 to block 230,000 of 270,000 e-mail messages daily from its 22,000 mailboxes with virtually no false positives, said Doug MacLeod, manager of e-messaging services at the company.

"Spammers continually write the code to get around the blocks that IronMail has set," said MacLeod, in Huntersville, N.C. "This new release adds fixes against their efforts."

MacLeod said he likes the quarantine management and URL-filtering capabilities in IronMail 4.0 as well as the improved white-list management. He said IronMail stops 50 percent more spam at a lower cost than the previous spam-blocking technology Ingersoll-Rand used.

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