Webroot used to enhance security against email spam

News by Dan Raywood

Webroot has announced the launch of email security that protects against email 'backscatter.'

Webroot has announced the launch of email security that protects against email ‘backscatter.'


The Webroot email Security SaaS features advanced protection against backscatter – a side effect of spam, viruses and worms when a spammer spoofs a legitimate email address in order to send an unsolicited message to large distribution lists. This causes the email server to flood an unsuspecting email address owner's mailbox with hundreds or thousands of failed delivery messages or bounce backs.


Failed delivery messages, often triggered by an e-mail sent to an invalid address or a full mailbox, can be difficult to block and tag as spammed messages, and require significant time and resources to be cleared from the network.


The new software employs a technique called Bounce Address Tag Validation (BATV) to mark every message sent through its servers with a timestamp and unique cryptographic signature that cannot be duplicated.


If an e-mail enters the network as a failed delivery message without this signature, customers can then configure the service to automatically mark the message as spam and block it from entering the user's mailbox.

Mike Irwin, COO, Webroot, said: “Ninety percent of over six trillion business e-mails this year will be spam. This volume puts IT resources under an incredible strain to manage not only the spam but the ensuing backscatter. Just recently an ISP was driven offline while trying to absorb 10,000 backscatter messages per second. The impact of backscatter is especially hard on businesses with fewer IT resources or appliances that just can't scale to meet the processing load.


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