The company says a new feature of its Gauntlet firewall, due early next year, will block illicit email traffic from corporate networks. Not only will it obstruct unwanted incoming email, but it also prevents junk emailers from hijacking a company system to relay messages to someone outside.
Spammers increasingly use email systems of other, often-unrelated parties to disguise the origin of unwanted messages, said Frederick Avolio, vice president of technology marketing for Trusted Information Systems.
"Customers have talked to us because it is slowing down their mail gateways and interferes with doing business because they're not delivering mail on time," Avolio said.
Many ISPs already have been forced to address both antirelay and antispam problems, often by modifying the SENDMAIL program on their servers. The problem arises because of how the Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) works, enabling functions such as email distribution lists.
The company claims that it will be the first manufacturer of Internet gateways or firewalls to build the antirelay capability into its commercial software.
The new TIS product is designed to close the door on relay abusers by making it simpler to cut them off. The capability also is built into TIS's free security toolkit.
"This is not quite a pure security issue, it's more of a quality-of-service issue, but more and more people are expecting that from their providers," Avolio said.
The spam filter for corporate networks is a capability offered by others. TIS's version will filter based on known spam or rogue email sites as well as by screening messages for specific words often used in mass emailing.
Lucent Technologies markets its proxy server as a Lucent Personalized Web Assistant that can help filter spam messages.