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New Appliance Blocks Spam At Edge

CipherTrust this week plans to roll out CipherTrust Edge 2.1, a beefed-up version of its gateway security appliance that protects the network by dropping e-mails with viruses and preventing bandwidth from being consumed by spam.

In addition to analyzing traffic and blocking malicious e-mails at the gateway, CipherTrust Edge 2.1 prevents against popular methods spammers use to collect e-mail addresses, said Alex Hernandez, director of advanced product development at the Alpharetta, Ga., security vendor, which was acquired by Secure Computing on Aug. 31 in a $273 million deal unveiled in July.

For example, CipherTrust Edge 2.1 protects against so-called directory harvesting by checking all incoming e-mail messages against a company's LDAP directory and tossing out messages sent to non-existent recipients, Hernandez said. In a directory harvesting attack, spammers use different variations of user names in order to collect e-mail addresses for sending spam. "LDAP lets us verify who the real users are, which helps to cut down on the amount of bad traffic," Hernandez said.

Unlike many gateway antivirus solutions, which perform virus scanning by writing a message to disk and then scanning it, CipherTrust Edge 2.1 can conduct virus scans in memory, Hernandez said. This allows for faster virus scanning at the network perimeter using virus signatures developed by CipherTrust's internal threat research team, he added.

CipherTrust Edge 2.1 can track messages as well as IP addresses using TrustedSource, CipherTrust's IP-based reputation system. This is useful for finding and identifying new zombies or compromised PCs that can be used to distribute spam, Hernandez said.

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