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IronPort unveils web-link filtering technology

Antony Savvas

IronPort Systems is rating weblinks in e-mail to better filter out junk messages, including those with links to malicious sites.

The company has added IronPort Web Reputation technology to its anti-spam appliances. The new technology examines about 45 attributes of websites linked in an e-mail message, to assess whether a message might be spam.

The technology is a response to new tactics employed by spammers. Int he past spam filters have relied on looking at content. Now, spammers are removing all the meaningful content and simply including a link.

Sophisticated attacks are using e-mail links to guide users to malicious websites that can infect them with rogue code which can turn their machines into spam distributors.

IronPort's Web Reputation technology conducts a number of checks on the web link included in an e-mail and gives the link a score. That number, along with checks such as sender reputation and content of the e-mail, will determine whether an e-mail can pass through IronPort’s appliance or be blocked.

IronPort checks when a domain has been registered, where a website is hosted, which Domain Name Server (DNS) it uses, and how many times it has been linked to e-mail.

Spammers tend to use recently-registered domain names, use hosted locations for their sites, and re-use DNS servers.

The Web Reputation technology is now part of the IronPort Anti-Spam system. Pricing for IronPort appliances starts at £1,800 for 100 users.


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