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Blocking solution resolves PR firm’s spam issues

  • 30 May, 2006 14:33

<p>Alarm bells rang when infotech PR specialist David Frost began receiving increasing numbers of unwanted email messages written in Chinese and other Asian scripts, despite subscribing to BigPond’s anti-spam service.</p>
<p>With data security firms among his firm PR Deadlines’ present and former clients, he was aware of the rapidly evolving nature and increasing sophistication of malware threats.</p>
<p>In particular, he was uneasy about the ‘window of opportunity’ between the time a virus, Trojan or spyware threat is launched on the Internet, and the time the data protection companies create fixes and send these to their computer-using clients.</p>
<p>“We were being targeted by 20-30 unwanted emails a day,” recalls Frost. At first, most of these were intercepted by BigPond’s anti-spam filtering service, but over time more and more unwanted emails were breaking through these defences. Eventually we were receiving 8-10 spam emails a day, at least half of them in Asian script. I didn’t expect to receive so much unwanted email after paying for an anti-spam service. What’s more, I was uneasy about the origins of some of the spam we were receiving.”</p>
<p>PR Deadlines found its answer in the blocking technology inherent in the TotalBlock anti-spam solution from New Millennium Solutions. Frost was alerted to its capabilities by seasoned IT writer and analyst, Graeme Philipson, who uses TotalBlock.</p>
<p>“Today we receive no unwanted email: absolutely zero,” said Frost. “The nuisance and the potential dangers of dealing with spam have been eliminated.”</p>
<p>TotalBlock blocks all unwanted email, using a challenge-response technique rather than filtering. It builds a list of acceptable incoming email senders, using a customer’s address book, plus replying automatically to any emailers who are not on the allowed list. The reply message contains a simple action that, when followed, adds the sender to the allowed list. The action can be as simple as replying to the challenge. Since the authorisation process requires human intervention, the challenge process bypasses drone machines that spew out huge volumes of spam.</p>
<p>It took PR Deadlines less than a week to become comfortable with TotalBlock. According to David Frost, the initial switch-on took only minutes.</p>
<p>He said: “Early on, we found that online newsletters to which we subscribed were not getting through, but fixing this was simply a matter of giving access to them by authorising the domain names of their senders. Also we found it useful to authorise our clients’ domain names, allowing all staff to contact us.”</p>
<p>Frost added: “Only when we receive a legitimate email from an unexpected source, like a journalist we don’t know, does the challenge kick-in, and it takes the sender just a few seconds to respond to that challenge. After that, he or she is automatically authorised for all future emailing.</p>
<p>“TotalBlock’s log-in screen acts as the control centre for authorising senders and checking all those who have been authorised or blocked. After a few weeks of using TotalBlock, I was checking the screen only once in a while out of interest – the system was working perfectly.</p>
<p>“Now I need to spend less time checking the TotalBlock log-in screen than I did looking for false positives on the BigPond log-in screen. Our staff are well pleased to have such an effective and trouble-free safeguard.”</p>
<p>About TotalBlock</p>
<p>TotalBlock - - is an Australian-developed anti-spam solution that also guards against network overloads caused by storming, harvesting and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. It works by blocking ALL spam, using the challenge-response methodology rather than the widely used but less reliable filtering techniques. TotalBlock quickly and easily builds up a list of acceptable incoming email senders by replying automatically to all those who are not on the user’s allowed list. The reply message contains a simple action that, when followed, automatically adds the sender to the allowed list. The action can be as simple as replying to the challenge. Since the authorisation process requires human intervention, the challenge process bypasses drone machines that spew out huge volumes of spam. All address book entries are authorised automatically, as are senders who reply to mail sent by the user.</p>
<p># # #</p>
<p>For more information</p>
<p>Peter Stewart or Ben Corby
New Millennium Solutions
Tel. 61-2-9437 9800</p>

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