Barracuda Attacks Image-Based Spam - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
7/20/2006
08:31 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
50%
50%

Barracuda Attacks Image-Based Spam

Yesterday Barracuda Networks announced an upgrade to its Spam Firewall product that provides the ability to apply optical character recognition, or OCR, techniques to incoming e-mail. This is an important escalation in the spam/anti-spam arms race, and something that will hopefully become more common.

Yesterday Barracuda Networks announced an upgrade to its Spam Firewall product that provides the ability to apply optical character recognition, or OCR, techniques to incoming e-mail. This is an important escalation in the spam/anti-spam arms race, and something that will hopefully become more common.According to the press release, "as much as 25 percent of all spam messages contain images," and from a quick survey of my mail logs, that figure pretty well jibed with what I saw there. Heck, 7% of the mail to hit my server today contained an image and nothing else. I can punish the GIF-only mail easily enough with regular expressions, but the mixed-mode spam is much more troublesome. Fortunately, techniques like the one announced by Barracuda should help alleviate some of these problems.

It'll be interesting to see how well this works. This is something that has been talked about in various anti-spam groups for a while, but as far as I know nobody has productized it until now. I'm going to assume that Barracuda has done some internal testing on this already and has determined that the processing demands aren't terribly excessive--and since Barracuda relies largely on SpamAssassin and other open-source technologies, the cost burden is probably next to nil, too--so we ought to start seeing this appearing elsewhere in short order.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll