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Network Associates adds antispam to arsenal

Network Associates has acquired Deersoft, a company offering advanced e-mail content filtering technologies for an undisclosed...

Network Associates has acquired Deersoft, a company offering advanced e-mail content filtering technologies for an undisclosed amount.

Deersoft's technologies will bring a more extensive ability to determine which incoming e-mails are spam. The company launched last year and has eight employees.

Network Associates spokesman Zoe Lowther said the Deersoft approach uses rules-based content filtering on incoming e-mails that run more than 750 tests and heuristic scans, looking for patterns that can determine whether a message is spam.

Heuristic scans entail checking e-mail using trial and error and a fixed set of rules to weed out improper messages. The results of the nearly instantaneous tests are then weighted to rate messages to determine whether they will be delivered to in-boxes or other folders.

The Deersoft products that include the technologies are SpamAssassin Pro, which Network Associates will use as the basis for its upcoming corporate desktop antispam product, and SpamAssassin Enterprise, which is aimed at the server level.

The price tag for the acquisition has not been released. Network Associates will assume all support obligations for Deersoft customers, and the technology will be delivered at the gateway, e-mail server and desktop for enterprise customers.

Later this year, the Deersoft technology will be integrated into the McAfee WebShield antispam appliance and GroupShield software products to provide protection for Internet gateways and e-mail servers.

Lowther said the Deersoft acquisition is one a series of purchases this year for Network Associates.

Analyst Michael Osterman at Osterman Research, called the acquisition "a pretty good fit" for Network Associates. "They had the SpamKiller product in the consumer market, but it's really not geared to the enterprise. It basically fills a hole in their product line," he said.

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