Anti-spam firms keep up the fight with new products and partnerships

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While spam has been plaguing the e-mail space since its inception, e-mail services firms are always trying to stay ahead in the fight for legitimacy on the Web.

This week, e-mail service provider Message Systems partnered with Vade Retro, the security division of GOTO Software, to help protect service providers from spam attacks. Under the terms of the agreement, Message Systems has integrated Vade Retro's filtration and analysis engine into its EoN platform to keep end users from receiving spam messages.

Another new offering to help protect legitimate brands and consumers comes from IronPort Systems, a Cisco company, which has released a new filtering system called Exploit Filtering to address the recent trend of legitimate Web sites being exploited by malware. IronPort has recently detected this type of activity at Texas National Guard, Sony and BusinessWeek.

“Legitimate Web sites are being exploited and sending users to sites that are actually hosting malware,” said at IronPort Systems. “In those cases, when a user signs on to a legitimate site, the site is being used as a hub to redirect traffic to a malware site.”

Attacks are carried out with techniques such as cross-site scripting exploits, flaws within Web applications that send malicious code to the browsers of unsuspecting users; buffer overflows, which sends too much data to an application's temporary storage, enabling security breaches; SQL injections, a technique that exploits a security vulnerability occurring in the database layer of an application; and invisible iFrame redirects, which send users to malware-generating sites.

According to IronPort's Threat Operations Center, exploited Web sites are responsible for more than 87% of all Web-based threats today.

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