August 20, 2011 ANTI-SPAM,Z-SCAN

Real Time Cloud-based Anti-Spam?

Last week, I reported on how Z-Scan, Network Box’s real time cloud based antivirus, is shifting the paradigm in the battle against viruses and helping us create signatures in seconds, when traditional AV companies still take several hours for a single signature.

This week we can proudly report that, after one year of field use in the war against viruses, this same technique is also being applied against spam.

The malware traps we have deployed are simply fake email addresses; what they receive is either spam or malware.   It is, therefore, a natural progression to apply Z-scan spam, as well.  When a new email arrives without an attachment and nothing malicious, we know it is spam.  If our other 24 anti-spam engines do not recognize it yet, Z-scan creates its usual hash signature, but, this time, it is not used by the antivirus.  The Z-scan anti-spam, as a 25th engine, will flag this email as spam, and from that point on, all Network Boxes globally will do the same.

Later on, our expert team analyzes the email and creates signatures that our 24 engines can use to block that same email.  But, in the mean time, our customers have been spared the nuisance already!

Now the challenge is on.

In September 2010, when we first deployed Z-scan antivirus, we were running around 100 signatures a day.  Today, that number has gone up all the way to 300 thousand!  Three hundred thousand pieces of zero-day malware!

Today Z-scan anti-spam has  only 597 signatures.  I am certain that very soon, this number will grow exponentially as spammers increase the onslaught.

Network Box has 25 engines to protect customers from spam.  Our spamtraps show that our success rate is currently 99.7%; a figure that is truly hard to beat as is. With Z-scan anti-spam, the rate will grow even closer to 100%.

Photo by Thomas Koukas on Unsplash