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Exchange 2003 gets new antispam, antivirus features

Microsoft has detailed new antispam and antivirus features that will be incorporated into its upcoming Exchange Server 2003 software.

Security features such as encryption, authentication and filter techniques are built into the software, as are improved default settings, such as turning off Simple Mail Transfer Protocol relay, the company said at the RSA security conference in San Francisco yesterday.

The company also announced that Exchange Server 2003 will feature tools aimed at giving IT administrators more control over spam and securing their networks.

The software, which is due to be released in mid-2003, will include an updated virus-scanning application programming interface (API) that will enable third-party software developers to deliver complementary virus-fighting technologies. The API will give these products enhanced abilities to delete infected messages, scan outgoing mail and send a message back to a sender notifying them that a virus was detected and the e-mail deleted, Microsoft said.

To help overcome spam, the software includes a tool which will allow partner software to scan incoming e-mail messages and attach a numeric score to a message, indicating the probability of that message being a piece of spam.

In addition, the antispam tool works with junk mail filters in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, blocking HTML content by default, assigning "block" lists and automatically filing junk mail to the trash.

All the new spam and virus-fighting features come as part of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing push. It introduced the initiative to shore up the customer confidence and gain a competitive edge.

Partners such as antispam software provider Brightmail and security company Network Associates support Exchange Server 2003's new features.


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