FireTrust MailWasher aims to damp down spam

Start-up FireTrust, a supplier of spam catcher software, will move its MailWasher solution from client to server at the end of...

Start-up FireTrust, a supplier of spam catcher software, will move its MailWasher solution from client to server at the end of this month. 

FireTrust started by offering a free download of its MailWasher Pro software, which stops spam from reaching desktops by letting users view and delete e-mails while still on the corporate server. 

MailWasher Server, which is in beta, identifies and filters out spam messages using a number of different approaches.

Statistical content filtering uses lexical analysis to evaluate the probability that a message is spam, evolving as it learns what an organisation considers spam. 

The system also uses what it calls real-time black hole list servers to check incoming SMTP server IP addresses against Domain Name Server and Real-Time Black Hole Lists. 

The software is also connected to a global spam database, FirstAlert, which already claims 16 million verified spam messages in its database. 

Janice Yee, a market analyst at Radicati Group, said that programs such as MailWasher - that use a multi-tiered approach to filtering spam - are best. 

"As it goes through the various filters, more and more spam mail gets weeded out. One type of filtering alone won't work," said Yee. 

MailWasher Server will be available at the end this month, when pricing will also be announced. MailWasher Pro is available to single users as a free download and for multiple installations at $37 per install. 

Meanwhile, Tech Laboratories is offering a hardware solution, DynaTrax, which it calls a digital matrix cross connect switch. The switch fits between network devices such as hubs, switches, and routers, and end-user devices such as desktops and printers and can be used to reroute malicious code electronically. 

"DynaTrax allows an any-to-any connection without a tech having to going to the wiring closet to rewire. It is done electronically," said Bernard Ciongoli, president of Tech Laboratories. 

Instead of sending traps to the network administrator the DynaTrax solution takes information and sends a trap, a coded script, to DynaTrax which moves a connection electronically. 

Once the code is disconnected from the network it reconnects it to a decoy server and then reconnects to the network for a continuous flow of safe data. 

Based on system management software, like Hewlett-Packard OpenView or Tivoli, the system can look for false positives and reroute good data back into the network. Once the decoy server has the malicious code it can also track and trace the code back to its source. 

"It becomes a back-hacking device," said Ciongoli.

DynaTrax is shipping now and its first customers include the Allied Irish Bank in New York. 

Ciongoli said that with the right spam catcher software DynaTrax could be used to stop the flow of unwanted e-mails. 

Tech Laboratories DynaTrax is shipping now. A 108-port by 108-port basic device with software starts at $15,000.

Ephraim Schwartz writes for InfoWorld

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