Sybari Turns to Fighting Instant Messaging Viruses, Spam

Antigen 7.5 for Instant Messaging, which will be available next month, extends the company's anti-virus and anti-spam technologies to an area of growing security concern.

LAS VEGAS—Sybari Software Inc. expanded the fight against viruses and spam with a launch here at Comdex of new software that can make instant messaging more secure.

The East Northport, N.Y., company on Tuesday announced Antigen 7.5 for Instant Messaging, an extension of its anti-virus software for e-mail. It supports both Microsoft Corp.s Office Live Communications Server 2003 for enterprise IM as well as IMlogic Inc.s IM Manager gateway for the major consumer IM networks.

As IM expands throughout enterprises, it opens new avenues for viruses and malicious code to reach a corporate network, said Tom Buoniello, vice president of product management at Sybari. For example, even if a company has tough anti-virus policies for sharing files on their e-mail systems, employees could turn to IM to share those files, he said.

"Although [IM] gives employees access to real-time communication, it also means that companies now have employees exchanging information and file both inside and outside the company network," Buoniello said.

Antigen 7.5 for Instant Messaging can scan IM communications and file transfers for viruses, but it also includes filtering capabilities that can help avoid unwanted messages.

Sybari has incorporated some of the technology from its Spam Manager anti-spam software into the new software, Buoniello said. Administrators are able to block messages that include certain words and phrases common in spam or that might violate corporate policies.

Antigen 7.5 for Instant Messaging comes with four preconfigured dictionaries covering spam, profanity, sexual harassment and racial discrimination, and administrators can create their own dictionaries for blocking messages.

Antigen 7.5 for Instant Messaging is in a release candidate and is slated for general availability in early December, Buoniello said. It will be available on a per-user license with pricing starting at about $28 per user over two years, he said.

On another product front, Sybari is prepping a new release of its Spam Manager software. Version 2.0 should be shipping in the next few weeks, Buoniello said. It includes, among other features, support for the spam confidence levels (SCL) in Microsoft Exchange 2003 that help filter unwanted e-mail from legitimate messages.

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