Webroot, a leading provider of security software for the consumer, enterprise and SMB markets, today announced the latest release of Webroot® E-mail Security SaaS which features advanced protection against the growing threat of e-mail "backscatter." A side effect of spam, viruses and worms, backscatter occurs when a spammer spoofs a legitimate e-mail address to send an unsolicited message to large distribution lists, causing the e-mail server to flood an unsuspecting e-mail address owner’s mailbox with hundreds or thousands of failed delivery messages or bounce backs.
"Ninety percent of over 6 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," said Mike Irwin, COO, Webroot. "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. With network security in the cloud, companies of all sizes can enjoy a scalable enterprise-class security solution that is easy to manage and provides better protection and value than traditional appliances and software."
Failed delivery messages – 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 latest release of Webroot E-mail Security SaaS 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.
"Companies still struggle to keep up with spam volume and attack tactics years after spam first became a serious problem, and many see a continued investment drain for spam management," wrote Chenxi Wang, Ph.D., Principal Analyst, Forrester in the June 2008 report Spam Management Best Practices. "To keep a step ahead of spammers, organizations should adopt a hybrid of filtering solutions, strengthen this connection to management technologies, and treat antispam as part of a wider email content security strategy that includes content protection and compliance."