Spam Blockers Reinforced

Options range from virus blocking to e-mail filtering.

The race to stop spam continues with at least four software vendors rolling out offerings, many positioned for broad content security, including virus blocking and e-mail filtering.

Elron Software Inc., Proofpoint Inc. and Brightmail Inc. this week will each announce products designed to block spam from entering users in-boxes. Inc. last week rolled out an offering designed to stop spam from being sent.

Elron, of Burlington, Mass., is announcing Version 4 of Message Inspector, which features more control for end users, including management of spam source lists and the ability to run and analyze reports on message filtering. Theres also a new quarantine management system for sequestering questionable e-mail messages and new LDAP support.

Spam-blocking features in Version 4 include an improved rules-based engine that scans for more than 2,500 spamlike attributes.

Chris Bittner, senior network manager at CommonHealth, a WPP Group plc. company in Parsippany, N.J., said Message Inspector 4 is so far showing a "big improvement" in stopping spam in testing, blocking an estimated 80 to 90 percent of messages received, with virtually no false positives. "It allows end users to manage their own blacklists," said Bittner. "That takes some of the burden off me as an administrator."

Separately, Proofpoint will launch Proofpoint Protector, software that scans for viruses and supports traditional anti-spam techniques such as real-time blacklists, white lists and pattern matching, as well as more sophisticated analysis of content to determine if the message is spam.

A Content Compliance module enables companies to screen messages to protect confidential information or offensive material from being disseminated, said officials, in Cupertino, Calif.

For its part, Brightmail, of San Francisco, is adding support for URL filtering in Anti-Spam 5.0. This will identify URLs that spam e-mail messages typically link to and block messages that include them.

In addition, there are enhancements to the softwares capabilities in source and content blocking, plus a new GUI editor to create spam-blocking rules, support for Versions 5 and 6 of IBMs Lotus Software divisions Domino e-mail servers, and a central administrative console to view and manage reports.

Looking to block spam at its source, announced SpamPlug. The product uses much of the same technology from the San Mateo, Calif., companys SpamCure inbound mail filter, but it is intended to screen e-mail being sent from ISPs, hotels, Internet cafes and corporations. It also aims to prevent spammers from hijacking those organizations resources to send spam.