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Cox adds spam killer to antivirus chest

The broadband service company plans to provide its Internet customers with protection from unsolicited mail by using McAfee's SpamKiller software.

Cable operator Cox Communications is putting up spam protection for customers of its Internet service.

The Atlanta-based company said on Friday that McAfee SpamKiller will be added to the other online security products from Network Associates that it is already offering to customers of its broadband Internet service. The software is designed to differentiate between unsolicited junk e-mail and legitimate messages, to shield children from unwarranted content and to constantly update itself.

"In addition to the time-savings benefit, users will also see the value in McAfee SpamKiller's ability to specifically target e-mail spam messages containing offensive content and identity theft scams. This is important for households who want to shield their families from these types of threats," Lisa Henderson, a Network Associates vice president of marketing, said in a statement.

PCs with broadband service are more likely to be targets of virus and hacker attacks, because they have an always-on connection to the Internet. This is leading Internet service providers to package security services into their plans.

Last month, Microsoft announced it would bundle McAfee security products with its MSN Premium service, which is slated to launch this winter. In addition, Verizon Communications is also partnering with Network Associates to provide online virus protection to customers of its broadband service for businesses.

Cox said it is developing ways to control spam at the network level.

"We're studying antispam solutions that will integrate with our e-mail platform, using a variety of tactics including rules-based methodologies as well as blacklists to block incoming spam from known spammers," Steve Gorman, an executive director of marketing at Cox, said in a statement.