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Zone Labs Wants To Secure Your Instant Messages

The security vendor's new IMsecure software will help secure popular IM apps that run on Windows PCs.
Zone Labs Inc., maker of the popular ZoneAlarm desktop firewall, is expected to unveil IMsecure on Tuesday. The software will help secure the most popular instant-messaging applications running on Windows desktops, VP of marketing Frederick Felman says.

There will initially be two versions of the security application: IMsecure Pro 1.0, which will be made available for download from Zone's site for $19.95, as well as a scaled-down freeware version, Felman says. The company will incorporate features from IMsecure Pro into Zone Labs' corporate security application, Integrity, by year's end, he says.

IMsecure Pro will block unwanted spam, dangerous scripts, and buffer-overflow attacks, Felman says, and will also provide 56-bit encryption for IM conversations between two IMsecure users. IMsecure works with instant-messaging services from AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Another feature within IMsecure Pro, MyVault, works to protect personal and sensitive information that users enter into the vault. For example, credit-card numbers, Social Security numbers, or passwords could be entered into MyVault, and whenever anyone attempts to send that information during an IM session, the app will stop the transmission and warn the user that there was an attempt to send sensitive information.

The free version will offer protection from buffer overflow attacks and the ability to encrypt IM sessions for a single user ID on a single instant-messaging service.

Zone Labs acquired the technology when it bought a small developer, IMsecure, roughly two months ago for an undisclosed sum.

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