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September 29, 2009

IRS Scam is No Match for Ipswitch Email Server Security Solution

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor

There’s a new spam campaign hitting email servers, and the criminals behind it are hoping to trick people into installing malicious software by playing off their timid nature about the Internal Revenue Service.
According to the CyberCrime & Doing Time blog, the IRS Zeus Bot is still raging after three weeks. It is the fourth major Zeus-spreading spam campaign the blog reported over the last few months.
Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told IDG News Service that campaign accounts for about 10 percent of the spam email his group is tracking.
"This is the most prominent spam-delivered virus in the world right now," Warner said.
Recipients reported that the subject line typically reads, "Notice of Underreported Income." The message then encourages people to either install the Trojan attachment or click on a Web link to view their "tax statement." But, the link takes the victim to a malicious Web site.
The IRS is advising people not to open attachments, or click on links included in the email that is supposedly from the agency.
Instances like this are leading more companies to protect their email systems and business networks at the server level. Ipswitch, Inc., a Lexington, Mass.-based developer of business-class messaging applications, for example, has a solution called IMail Server which blends content filtering technology that inspects incoming, outgoing, and internal email communications to protect companies’ assets.
The solution, which is provided by BitDefender and powered by Symantec (News - Alert), features a weekly virus definitions update and also updates itself in the event of a major outbreak. It also includes spyware and adware scanning, and administrator alerts.
Brad Senter, marketing manager of the messaging division for Ipswitch (News - Alert), told TMCnet in a recent interview that Ipswitch’s IMail Server service provides “bulletproof protection” for companies’ investments in messaging servers.
Ipswitch recently launched its IMail Server Premium Security Bundle, which adds Symantec anti-virus protection and anti-spam protection from Commtouch (News - Alert)
The security bundle uses Commtouch's GlobalView Mail Reputation Service, which blocks unwanted email at the perimeter to reduce most incoming messages before they enter the network, the company said. Commtouch blocks more than 98 percent of spam with any content, format, or language, Ipswitch said.
And if the recent IRS spam campaign is any indicator, email virus and other attacks aren’t going away anytime soon.
A recent Commtouch report found that the number of email-borne viruses rose in the second quarter of 2009. Spam levels averaged 80 percent of all email traffic throughout the quarter, peaking at 97 percent alone in April and bottoming out at 64 percent in June, according to The MX Record blog.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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