Symantec's Brightmail Debuts Multi-Language Spam Filtering

  |  June 28, 2004   |  Comments

The anti-spam unit releases its first upgrade since being acquired.

Symantec has released an upgrade to its Brightmail Anti-Spam product including non-English-language filters and administrative enhancements.

The release of Version 6.0 of the Brightmail Anti-Spam product is expected to be announced Monday. The new release can identify messages in any of 11 languages. The software runs only the filters that apply to a given message's language, speeding up the performance of the language filtering capabilities.

Also, the software now includes language-specific heuristics that analyze messages for language-specific characteristics of spam.

A company spokesman estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of all global spam is in languages other than English, pointing to the importance of non-English-language spam filtering.

Brightmail Anti-Spam enterprise class software filters spam for clients including Fortune 500 customers and major ISPs. Brightmail Anti-Spam claims to effectively filter email through a variety of approaches, and to block less than one legitimate email in a million.

The latest release also gives new powers to administrators. Under the old system, the same filtering standards were applied across an entire company. Now, different spam filtering standards can be put into effect for different parts of a company or even different individuals, so that some people will get messages not delivered to others. Similarly, administrators can vary how spam is handled in accordance with different anti-spam laws in different countries, a useful feature for multinational companies.

The Brightmail Reputation Service, which debuted in January, is now available to companies other than ISPs. The service blocks prime sources of spam while (hopefully) ensuring delivery of legitimate messages and is updated hourly. Up until now, only ISPs could use the service.

The new release comes on the heels of Symantec's closing of its acquisition of Brightmail last week. The deal came two months after Brightmail filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation for an initial public offering.

Carlin Wiegner, a company spokesman, said Symantec Brightmail Anti-Spam customers have more than 300 million mailboxes. Customers include some 15 of the 20 major ISPs in the United States such as ATT Worldnet, as well as 75 to 100 Fortune 500 customers. MSN Hotmail, one of the largest email services in the world, is a client.

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