Software takes new angle against spam

A small company that already fights unwanted commercial e-mail for the U.S. Coast Guard and two national laboratories is hoping the latest release of its product will add to its federal presence.

ActiveState released Version 4.0 of its PureMessage software May 6.

Chris Kraft, ActiveState's director of product management, said the new PureMessage product includes policy administration capabilities to restrict the content of both incoming and outgoing e-mail.

PureMessage keeps a catalog of indicators that a message might be spam and runs it through tests. The tests look for clues: Does it look like there is a lot of "yelling" in the message? Does the message consist of a single linked image, which suggests the sender is trying to disguise the content?

With the new policy framework, network administrators can use PureMessage to limit the content of messages entering or leaving an organization, Kraft said. An agency could make sure classified information isn't sent, for example.

The company has systems installed at Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Coast Guard and Indiana's state government. The company wants to expand its federal reach, Kraft said.

"[Agencies] tend to be fairly parallel with the largest of our enterprise-level customers," he said. "They tend to share in those same demands. They tend to be larger, and they tend to have diverse infrastructure, so the system has to be pretty flexible in terms of where it's installed, how it's installed."

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