New E-Mail Technologies Put Spam in the Cross Hairs

By Dennis Callaghan  |  Posted 2002-07-01

As enterprises fight an increasing deluge of unwanted e-mail, IBMs Lotus Software division, Rockliffe Inc. and Ironport Systems Inc. are scrambling to offer new technologies to keep spam from penetrating firewalls.

Lotus last week announced that its forthcoming Domino 6 messaging and groupware server will include anti-spam features, technology the company has typically relied on partners to deliver. Separately, Rockliffe is adding new content filtering tools to the latest release of its Rockliffe LE e-mail server.

Not to be outdone, Ironport introduced a program to help users of its e-mail gateway products distinguish legitimate e-mail from spam.

Lotus, of Cambridge, Mass., will add several server-based, anti-spam features in Domino 6, including increased control for administrators over incoming messages from certain mailing/distribution lists. The software, due to ship this quarter, also features added support for checking public "black hole" lists of IP addresses of known spammers, new content filtering capabilities that allow messages to be rejected based on subject line or attachment name, and enhanced abilities to look up inbound recipient addresses in the Lotus Domino directory so spam messages wont be routed through the company.

Jennifer Newmark, a Lotus Notes administrator for an outplacement company that she asked not be named, said her company already has anti-spam software in place at its firewall. The new features in Domino 6 would be no more effective in stopping spam, she said.

"The spam we cannot catch is the same spam that this product—and most anti-spam products—cannot catch," Newmark said. "No product blocks everything."

Newmark said spammers have ways to outsmart anti-spam software with tactics such as fake sender names and domains, commonly used domains such as and, and misleading subject lines and addresses.

Rockliffe, of Campbell, Calif., is also trying to block spam with new server-based content filtering capabilities in Version 5 of Rockliffe LE, due this week. Both server administrators and users can set rules for these filters, which can block spam or redirect it to quarantine folders, similar to the bulk e-mail folder that Web-based mail services such as Yahoo use.

Rockliffe LE 5, which runs on Windows 2000 servers, also includes anti-virus protection at the server and calendaring and scheduling capabilities.

Meanwhile, Ironport announced its Bonded Sender program last week, which aims to keep anti-spam products such as the new features in Domino and Rockliffe LE from screening out legitimate e-mail messages.

Ironport, of San Bruno, Calif., also began shipping the A50 e-mail delivery appliance, which delivers more than 500,000 messages per hour and uses the same AsyncX gateway as the Bonded Sender program.

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