Dublin firm finds way to can spam

28 May 2003

As email inboxes become ever more cluttered with spam, a Dublin-based software firm has developed a solution aimed at detecting and filtering unsolicited commercial email.

In the prevailing environment of rising numbers of viruses and worms infiltrating corporate email systems and firewalls, Dublin-based Hivercon Security has developed an unorthodox filtering process that passes incoming email through a layered set of tests for purity, much like a water filtration plant. The process is based on tests such as digital fingerprinting and dynamic rulesets.

The White Mail solution is already in place at several 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.

New breeds of viruses and worms are kept at bay using a similarly layered approach to scanning. Two commercial anti-virus scanners test each email that passes through the centralised White Mail System, both of which are updated every two hours.

Mark Anderson of Hivercon told siliconrepublic.com: “It catches up to 98pc of spam – which is higher than the competition – and 99pc of viruses.” He added that the two virus products used in the detection process are McAfee and Central Command.

According to Anderson the solutions costs €70 per month for a company of around 50 users. “The technology is centralised on our servers and that’s where we perform the sweeps through our servers.”

Among the ISPs that have implemented the technology so far are Carlow-based Black Night Solutions and UK-based Sidhe Solutions.

By all accounts the spam epidemic that has haunted the internet and email for several years now has reached record proportion; legislation is being prepared that will attempt to curb the flow of fraudulent and misleading email.

By John Kennedy