Talking Smack About Spam

Protection from spam for $1 per user is the business proposition from ProExchange via its soon to be released Spam Smacker software.

The company is a service provider specializing in large-scale deployments of 10,000 seats or more of Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory. The company’s technical architects are well known in the industry, often hired by Microsoft to provide training for Exchange administrators.

According to Steve Bryant, president, one of the company’s developers built a product for internal use to filter spam.

“We got so irritated with all the spam messages we were getting, that the developer put something together and it just worked,” says Bryant.

As a result, ProExchange decided to shift its focus more towards getting the anti-Spam product out and telling the world about it. The product differentiates from others on the market by its range of functionality, such as the ability to detect spoof sites, and not letting spam messages into the storage region of Exchange, but blocking them before they get there.

“That’s a huge savings,” Bryant says. The product was recently installed in test mode at a hospital with 2,500 users. In the next 24 hours, the hospital reported receiving 1,000 fewer messages in their Exchange server. The estimated that one-third of all the messages they were receiving were spam. Some other test sites for the software have reported that 85% of all messages they are receiving are spam; the percentage tends to be higher for companies with the same email domain in place for many years.

Bryant said he is learning more about spam origination from the effort to build the product.

“There are a handful of guys out there sending the bulk of these messages,” he says. Spam Smacker will detect if messages are coming from multiple IP addresses in the same subnet, so that the subnet can be blocked, getting around one spam technique of moving from server to server within the same subnet to get past spam filters.

“We’re fighting the good fight,” Bryant says. “We’re techies at heart and we want to see what we can do to stop spam.”

He expected the product to be ready for general release by the end of this month.

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