CA offers new virus fighters

Computer Associates International Inc. last month announced two new information security products that are designed to protect networks from viruses that spread through e-mail.

The eTrust Content Inspection Personal Edition and Mail Watcher products come in the wake of the "love bug" and accompanying variants. Those viruses spread their way through federal agencies and private-sector organizations, sending copies to every person in a user's address book and flooding e-mail systems.

The eTrust Content Inspection software blocks the execution of files commonly used by virus writers, including the Visual Basic Script (.vbs) files used by the love bug. Since many people will attach executable (.exe) files to their e-mails, eTrust Content Inspection will allow the recipient to launch the executable but then closely monitors the application. Should it attempt to access the user's file directory, the product will block access.

Mail Watcher does not block execut-ables, but will monitor e-mail activity and notify the user of any unusual action. For example, the product "watches" for attachments that, when launched, generate other e-mails. If it detects such activity, Mail Watcher will notify the user and let him or her halt the program.

Both products, which can be downloaded for free from the Computer Associates Web site, complement InoculateIT, Computer Associates' network anti-virus solution.

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