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Spam Email & Antispam Technologies

Posted in E-mail Security White Papers

The Evolution of Spam


Until a while ago, spam was the domain of text- or html-based emails. For anonymous delivery, these messages traditionally relied on abusing open SMTP relays. When open SMTP relays became less common, spammers switched to proxy servers, dial-up services and more recently, hijacked computers. Spammers designed personalized template emails to deliver their messages and then made use of bulk mailing software for distribution.

To block spam, email service providers and companies often relied on keyword ‘detection’, and drew up a list of keywords that commonly appeared in most of the spam email. This list would often include keywords such as ‘viagra’ or ‘bank’.

However, this method often blocked genuine email and adding more keywords simply resulted in more false positives which in turn blocked legitimate email. But spammers became smarter too, and they addressed keyword blocking by replacing keywords such as ‘viagra’ to ‘v1agra’.
Another attempt at blocking spam includes making use of blacklists that contain a list of IP addresses of known spammers or compromised hosts.

To read more on this article, please Click Here.

Trojans - and how to protect your network against them

Posted in E-mail Security White Papers

Introduction


This white paper outlines what trojans are and why they pose a danger to corporate networks. As early as 2001, an eWeek article reported that tens of thousands of machines are infected with trojans. And this is fast on the rise (InternetWeek.com, January 2004). The alarming fact is that trojans can be used to steal credit card information, passwords, and other sensitive information, or to launch an electronic attack against your organization. The white paper discusses the need for a trojan and executable scanner at mail server level in addition to a virus scanner, to combat this threat.

What is a trojan horse?


In the IT world, a trojan horse is used to enter a victim’s computer undetected, granting the attacker unrestricted access to the data stored on that computer and causing great damage to the victim. A trojan can be a hidden program that runs on your computer without your knowledge, or it can be ‘wrapped’ into a legitimate program meaning that this program may therefore have hidden functions that you are not aware of. (For a quick look at how trojans work, please visit http://kbase.gfi.com/showarticle.asp?id=KBID001671).

To read more on this interesting article, Click Here.

One Virus Engine Is Not Enough

Posted in E-mail Security White Papers

Introduction


It is a well-known fact that viruses, trojan horses, worms, spam and other forms of malware present a real threat to all modern-day organizations and affect productivity and business operations negatively. According to the 2008 FBI Crime and Security Survey, 97% of organizations have an antivirus software installed, yet 50% have been affected by a virus attack at least once during the previous 12 months.

Responsible organizations agree that they need to protect their network from virus attacks by installing an email security product. Yet malicious code is becoming more sophisticated and is advanced everyday as virus writers hone their skills and sharpen their code to stay one-step ahead of virus detection methods, penetrating antivirus and firewall solutions with alarming regularity.

The success of these viruses is, to a large part, linked to the flawed logic and inherent weakness of protection strategies that are based on a single scanning engine to assess the threat of incoming files. This white paper explains why the answer to the question: “Is one antivirus engine enough to protect the internal network from mass-mailing viruses, worms and other email-borne threats?” is an emphatic “NO!”

It also examines the need for multiple antivirus engines to reduce the average response time to a virus outbreak and thus reduce the chance of having your network infected. The use of multiple virus engines also enables security administrators to be vendor-independent when it comes to virus scanning, thereby able to use the best of breed virus engines available on the market.

To read this article Click Here

Why You Need an Email Exploit Detection Engine

Posted in E-mail Security White Papers

Introduction


Virus-writers are using increasingly complex and sophisticated techniques in their bid to circumvent antivirus software and disseminate their viruses. A case in point was the notorious Nimda virus that used multiple methods to spread itself and was based on an exploit rather than on the virus/trojan behavior for which antivirus products typically search. Antivirus software, though essential, cannot combat such threats alone; an email exploit detection tool is also necessary.

To read this article click here

Protecting your Network Against Email Threats

Posted in E-mail Security White Papers

Introduction


This white paper explains why antivirus software alone is not enough to protect your organization against the current and future onslaught of computer viruses. Examining the different kinds of email threats and email attack methods, this paper describes the need for a solid server-based content-checking gateway to safeguard your business against email viruses and attacks as well as information leaks.

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