MailWatch Takes Heat Out of Sobig Virus

Over 11 million instances of Sobig.F caught by EasyLink service

27 August 2003 – The latest version of the Sobig virus is the fastest growing virus ever experienced, yet EasyLink’s MailWatch customers have been unaffected by the phenomenon. Since the latest version of the virus appeared on the 18th of August, MailWatch has intercepted over 11 million infected messages.

Over the last week, MailWatch has prevented millions of infected email messages from reaching their intended destination, preventing countless users from opening a message, and respawning the attack. The traffic on MailWatch has increased by a third, checking almost five million email messages a day. Over the week of the attack, MailWatch processed 35 million email messages, of which over 11 million were infected.

“Our MailWatch infrastructure was able to absorb one of the worst attacks in years. Since MailWatch is an outsourced service, our customers were able to continue their day to day business operations unaffected”, said Marty Horowitz, MailWatch product manager at EasyLink Services. “None of our customers had to remove their data centre from the Internet to control their data network and none lost the use of their email system, mail servers or Internet based productivity due to the outbreak”.

With the increase in viruses and the awareness of vulnerabilities in software products, virus writers are writing more malicious code to gain the global media attention previous viruses and worms have received. The issue of spam mail further complicates this by increasing the amount of traffic networks must deal with. MailWatch alleviates the pressure and the problems that occur when trying to protect a corporate system at their own firewall by stopping the viruses before they enter their system. Using a service like MailWatch, IT departments worry less about network overload, reactive patching and updating.

“Customers need an outsourced service to deal with these denial of service attacks,” said Horowitz. “It is our network that takes the brunt of the hit by sorting and deleting all the corrupt emails with the virus, therefore leaving our customers networks free of the virus and the large volume of email traffic. Traditional virus protection software place the brunt of the pressure on IT departments and the Trojan threat of Sobig ups the stakes considerably”.
v Businesses using on-premise virus protection software may be blocking the virus, but their networks are being slammed with the extremely large volume of messages they are receiving. With MailWatch, infected messages never reach a customer’s network, enabling them to continue business as usual.

Instances of Sobig.F virus captured by MailWatch:
18th August – 0
19th August – 978,440
20th August – 2,344,809
21st August – 1,649,481
22nd August – 1,645,654
23rd August – 1,729,418
24th August – 1,664,699
25th August – 1,001,077

MailWatch is a service of EasyLink Services Corporation, a leading global provider of services to over 20,000 companies including over 400 of the Global 500. EasyLink is based in Piscataway, New Jersey, USA, and has a network presence in 40 countries, sales and support offices, and major network centres in the United States and the United Kingdom.

About MailWatch
MailWatch ( is a leading virus protection, Spam control and content filtering service protecting corporate networks worldwide. Using highly advanced anti-virus technology to detect over 71,000 known viruses and their variants, MailWatch effectively detects e-mail messages and attachments with embedded viruses and stops them from entering enterprise networks. In addition to virus protection, MailWatch’s Spam control blocks unsolicited e-mail and its content-filtering feature protects users against unwanted or offensive e-mail messages.

About EasyLink:
EasyLink Services Corporation (NASDAQ: EASY), headquartered in New Jersey, USA, is a leading global provider of services that power the exchange of information between enterprises, their trading communities, and their customers. EasyLink’s network facilitates transactions that are integral to the movement of money, materials, products, and people in the global economy, such as insurance claims, trade and travel confirmations, purchase orders, invoices, shipping notices and funds transfers, among many others. EasyLink helps more than 20,000 companies, including over 400 of the Global 500, become more competitive by providing the most secure, efficient, reliable, and flexible means of conducting business electronically. For more information, please visit

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