Anti-spam specialist acquires Israeli tech firm


17 Aug 2004

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Dublin-based email filtering firm Hivercon Ltd has acquired an Israeli anti-spam portal, Tmicha.net, for an undisclosed cash sum. The acquisition sees Hivercon acquire Tmicha’s user base, portal software, domain names, company trademarks and other intellectual property.

Based in Tel Aviv, Tmicha has been providing spam and virus protection to a 4,500 user base for the past three years. Tmicha’s users will be migrated across to White Mail Personal Edition in the coming weeks. White Mail is Hivercon’s flagship email filtering product and is available in both corporate and personal editions.

The software that previously ran Tmicha will be incorporated into Hivercon’s back end to help improve the level of service provided to clients, strengthening Hivercon’s anti-spam software.

Blackrock-based Hivercon was founded three years ago by brothers Mark and Frank Anderson, respectively managing director and technical director of the firm, which has five employees in total.

Explaining the rationale behind the acquisition, Mark Anderson said that Tmicha.net had established an excellent reputation for technological innovation, particularly in relation to the online portal software used by its customers to filter out spam. The portal would now be rebranded as a White Mail product and offered to Hivercon’s client base, Anderson said in an interview with siliconrepublic.com.

He added that the spam epidemic is showing no signs of slowing, either in Ireland or globally. Whereas spam accounted for approximately 40pc of business email last year, the figure has risen to 60-65pc currently, he said. The Can the Spam Act in the US, which was intended to curb spam, has been counter-productive, he claimed.

“Instead of reducing spam, the Act has almost legitimised the actions of many of the spammers. By sticking to the letter of the law, spammers have been able to gain legitimacy. Spam is an international problem and it can’t be solved through local legislation. In the long term, the only viable solution is a complete overhaul of the entire email infrastructure.”

Hivercon’s White Mail solution is already in place in several businesses and ISPs across Ireland and the UK and claims to stand up to mass attacks, showing stability and catching higher ratios of viruses than competitors. In order to avoid the loss of legitimate email in the process, Hivercon has developed an automatic white-listing feature that ensures that email from colleagues and customers is never blocked. Irish customers for White Mail include Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Trocaire.

By Brian Skelly