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High-performance Spam Processing Now Incorporated In Mail Filtering Software
Norwood, MA -- August 15, 2002 -- BSM Development (www.bsmdevelopment.com) announces the latest release of MailCorral, a mail filtration program, for use on Unix and Linux systems and available for download from the company's Web site. This release (version 1.0.4) has high-performance spam processing capabilities built in to allow it to process large volumes of mail in heavy traffic environments such as those found in ISPs and businesses, where analysis of mail for spam has traditionally imposed undue loads on mail handling servers.
Many mail filtration programs work in conjunction with a spam analysis program to examine each mail message delivered and determine whether it is spam. Once a message is found to contain spam, it can be altered, redirected or dropped, depending on user preferences.
Spam analysis can be a costly operation that, if performed on the entire content of every message received in a heavy traffic environment, slows down mail delivery considerably. The high-performance spam processing capability of MailCorral can improve the speed of spam analysis by at least a factor of two or three for small messages and by an order of magnitude for large messages.
Benchmarks have shown double and triple throughput using MailCorral over a filter that doesn't feature high-performance spam processing capability. This kind of improvement is significant because, as it is important to bear in mind, all messages must be analyzed for spam, not just those that contain spam. Even if a message is found to be OK, the work of analysis must still have been done. Consequently, performance improvements in spam processing impact all mail delivered or, conversely, poor spam processing speeds decrease total mail throughput.
MailCorral analyzes all relevant plain text and MIME components of each mail message, including those that are encoded (probably expressly to hide spam from analysis). It incorporates a simple set of spam identification rules that permit it to filter spam on its own. More sophisticated spam analysis can be provided by asking MailCorral to directly invoke the popular spam arbitration daemon, using its built-in interface.
Once a piece of mail is identified as spam, MailCorral permits one of three modes of delivery to be selected. The subject line of a message can be altered to indicate that a message is spam and then it is delivered to the recipient, along with some explanatory text and some spam statistics. In this mode, it is presumed that the recipient will have a mail reader filter in place that keys off of the subject tag and directs the spam to an alternate mailbox, where the recipient can read the spam if and when they want.
The second mode is to simply dump the spam into the trash. It is not delivered and never heard from again.
It is the third mode that is the most interesting. Spam is never delivered directly to the recipient but rather sidelined in a holding area or corral. From there, it may be remailed to the recipient using the BSM Development product SpamCorral, processed by another program of the user's own design or simply ignored.
If SpamCorral is employed to process corralled spam, it sends a notification to each recipient, once a day, showing them all of the spam that they would have received and listing its details. The recipient has the option of replying to the notification to request that specific pieces of spam be remailed to them or ignoring it altogether.
If the recipient ignores the notification, the spam is silently deleted by SpamCorral. Total time required of the recipient: a few seconds to peruse the notification and decide to ignore it. Total involvement of system personnel: none.
If the recipient replies to the notification, they can select which pieces of spam they wish to receive. You never know. Someone might send you a valuable piece of spam one day. In this case, the recipient spends ten or fifteen seconds replying to the notification and SpamCorral sends them their request. Once again, the unrequested spam is deleted silently and the system personnel are not involved in any way.
The MailCorral and SpamCorral products comprise a suite of products which are used to filter mail delivered to Unix and Linux systems via the standard Simple Mail Transfer Protocol interface. As such, they watch all mail traffic entering your system and inspect it for the presence of harmful viruses and annoying spam.
The advantage of filtering mail on the Unix/Linux system that delivers it is that MailCorral can stop viruses and spam before they ever get to the recipients. This can reduce network traffic (for spam) and guarantee that a virus will not get launched by mistake.
In addition to the MailCorral and SpamCorral products, a collection of test mail messages is offered by BSM Development which can be used to validate your installation's virus filtering and spam rejection capabilities (regardless of how they are provided). These test messages are specially-crafted to validate known methods of virus propagation, using killed viruses which can do no damage. Auditing your system's virus filtering capabilities, in this manner, is an excellent way to detect security holes and repair them before they are exploited by malicious users wanting to infect your system (think of it as vaccination for your system). Checking your system's spam rejection capabilities will prevent your users from being annoyed by and wasting their time with spurious junk.
Also available is an outbound mail redirector which can be used for small installations wanting to send mail from their internal networks through an Internet Service Provider that only accepts mail from individual users. Systems that must support multiple users and virtual domains through a typical ISP account will find this product useful.
For more information about these products, see the company's products Web page, http://www.bsmdevelopment.com/Products, email email@example.com or phone 781-551-0153.