MessageLabs Launches Anti-Spam Version 4.0

London, 1 December 2004
MessageLabs, the leading provider of managed email security services to businesses, today announced the launch of MessageLabs Anti-Spam 4.0, incorporating Symantec Brightmail AntiSpam technology and additional enhancements that increase spam capture effectiveness and lower false positive rates.

MessageLabs Anti-Spam 4.0 uses a multi-layered approach including MessageLabs Skeptic Anti-Spam predictive technology, Symantec Brightmail AntiSpam technology and additional layers of detection techniques – designed to stop all spam before it reaches corporate networks while ensuring that businesses receive legitimate email.

The service is fully managed as part of MessageLabs suite of managed email security and management services, providing businesses with applications that lower total cost of ownership, reduce bandwidth and storage costs, protect critical infrastructure, manage and reduce risk and secure business communications.

“As a MessageLabs customer, we were familiar with the benefits of a managed service and were achieving 98 per cent detection and low false positives already,” said Steve Jackson, Chief Information Officer at PRTM in the UK. “When we tested the multi-layered solution, we redirected spam to a separate account to ensure effectiveness. Impressed to find that false positives were non-existent with the new signaturing capability and that the service overall was blocking 99.8 percent of the spam heading for our network, we moved to the block and delete option for the signaturing element, making it much easier to manage the negligible number of false positives.

Given the complexity and volume of spam and that MessageLabs processes more than 125,000 emails for us daily, upgrading to Anti-Spam 4.0 has been a hugely positive experience and we believe confirms why MessageLabs leads the managed email security services market.”

Symantec Brightmail AntiSpam technology is one of the leading anti-spam technologies in the market today and has consistently been found to have superior effectiveness and low false positive rates. By integrating this software with its proprietary Skeptic predictive technology, MessageLabs has created a highly effective, multi-layered managed anti-spam service that enterprises of any size and industry can benefit from.

“Spam will continue to be significant problem for the foreseeable future, and organisations must aggressively erect a continuously adapting set of barriers to keep spam at bay. Anti-spam solutions that use a layered approach and multiple proactive and reactive detection techniques provide significant benefits over other models. They are highly accurate in detecting and blocking spam and effective at limiting critical false positives and are well-suited to defend against the ever changing nature of spam,” said Matt Cain, Senior Vice President, Meta Group.

For years MessageLabs has provided businesses around the world with a cutting-edge anti-spam service that blocks unwanted messages and gives value back to their mission critical communications, said Stephen Chandler, President of MessageLabs EMEA. With spam now accounting for 80 per cent of email and converging with viruses and phishing, businesses need solutions that eliminate email security threats and reduce operational, financial and legal risks. Our current and future customers will now have the highest levels of spam protection and the business benefits related to a managed service.

Additional enhancements of MessageLabs Anti-Spam Version 4.0 include the Spam Manager off site quarantine facility, improved connection-based filtering and greater levels of double-byte, or Asian character spam detection, now a requirement for most global organisations.

Spam Manager

For an increasing number of organisations, spam represents the majority of all email received often over 70% according to MessageLabs latest statistics. Businesses therefore need to implement effective management of unwanted email to relieve the impact on Internet connections, mail server stores and backup systems.

Using the MessageLabs Anti-Spam service, organisations have flexibility in how the service is deployed, allowing them to tailor it to best meet their requirements. Through the use of Spam Manager accounts, spam can be redirected to the MessageLabs secure Spam Manager servers, thereby avoiding its impact on internal systems. A notification option ensures that users are kept informed of redirected email. Messages held by Spam Manager can be previewed, deleted or released using a simple, secure web interface.

Spam Manager supports account consolidation, automated purging of spam mails older than a set period, selective deployment and automatic end user approved list requests.

Improved Connection-Based Filtering

MessageLabs Skeptic predictive technology identifies and blocks spam using proactive technologies such as heuristics, Bayesian learning, connection-based filtering, smart signatures, fuzzy fingerprinting and dynamic header analysis. Deployed across a global platform, it scans tens of millions of emails every day and learns from each message, evolving and updating in real time to protect against the newest spam techniques while its filtering accuracy virtually eliminates false positives. Its global database replication architecture means knowledge gained from one part of the network can be replicated worldwide.

Connection-based filtering targets email originating from suspect IP addresses or sent by zombie PCs – networks of compromised computers used for relaying spam. MessageLabs Skeptic technology also analyses software signatures, identifying spoofed emails sent via known spam sending programs.

Greater Detection of Double-Byte Character Spam

MessageLabs Anti-Spam 4.0 includes increased detection and identification of Double-Byte, or Asian character, spam. Double-byte character spam is capable of bypassing spam filters that are not yet advanced enough to analyse Asian language content. By employing language experts from around the world and analysing millions of foreign language emails each day, MessageLabs develops customised algorithms to eliminate this type of spam and provide a global view of spam.

The adoption of new anti-spam technologies enables MessageLabs to focus on developing innovative techniques to combat dynamic email security threats, which industry analysts expect will continue growing in size and scope over the coming years. The service further complements MessageLabs Anti-Virus service to virtually eliminate problems caused by email threats, including the convergence of spam, virus and phishing attacks.

About MessageLabs

MessageLabs is the leading provider of managed email security services to businesses based on market share, according to a Yankee Group Security Solutions & Services Report, February 2004. The company offers industry-leading managed Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Image Control and Content Control services to more than 10,000 businesses around the world to combat email threats before they reach corporate networks and without the need for additional hardware or software. Powered by a global network of data centres spanning four continents, MessageLabs scans tens of millions of emails each day on behalf of clients such as The British Government, The Bank of New York, Bertelsmann, CSC, Diageo, Orange, Random House, SC Johnson and StorageTek. The service is also available through more than 600 channel partners, including BT, Cable & Wireless, CSC, IBM, MCI and Unisys. For more information on MessageLabs, please visit

Don't miss