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Report From Demo: New Products Try To Spurn Spam

Scottsdale. Ariz. -- The latest anti-spam products aren't content trying to block spam from reaching end users. Instead, they're taking the battle to the spammers, trying to keep the offending messages off the Net in first place. Instead of worrying about actual spam messages, these products go after the connections used to send the offending messages.

At the Demo 2004 conference here this week, Open Wave Systems introduced OpenWave Edge Gx, designed to give ISPs a proactive approach to stopping spam. Turn Tide, meanwhile, debuted an anti-spam router intended to keep large quantities of spam from being sent onto the Net.

TurnTide Inc., based in Conshohocken, Penn., claims to have created an "anti-spam router." According to CEO, president, and founder Lucinda Duncalfe Holt, TurnTide uses a technique called TCP Traffic Shaping to identify the actual sending server or router sending the spam, or "spam cannons," based on their behavior.

Once a connection is identified as acting badly and having a high likelihood of being a spammer, Holt says, the anti-spam router manages the bandwidth of its connections to limit the number of messages the connection can send into the network. Preventing the connection from sending mail except on TurnTide's terms, Holt said, "doesn't let spammers deliver the volume of e-mail needed for their business model to succeed."

Holt claimed that the anti-spam router--targeted at both ISPs and enterprises--can prevent as much as 90 percent of spam messages from entering the system. The anti-spam router is available now at prices starting at $20,000, depending the number of users, network traffic, and configuration.

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