E-Commerce Service Provider Offers Free E-Mail Virus Scanning

The Electric Mail Company, Inc. (VSE: ELE) last week announced the availability of its free E-mmunity Outbound e-mail virus scanning service. With recent virus-related incidents, such as the proliferation of ExploreZip, spread by way of e-mail contact, such services are certainly gaining more attention from consumers and the media.

The new outbound service will complement Electric Mail’s existent E-mmunity service, which scans inbound business e-mails for viruses. “This unique service limits corporate liability by preventing the transmission of destructive and disruptive strains such as the recent Melissa,” read a company statement. The explosion of computer viruses impacts all business utilizing the Internet — particularly e-commerce operations.

“E-mail has become as important for ongoing business communication as the telephone, so it’s critical that we maintain the high level of trust associated with our messages,” commented Shawne Hardy, technical services consultant with Electric Mail customer Pifer Financial Services. “Having a proactive scanning service to ensure that every message we send out is ‘clean’ of harmful virus attachments is a logical step in maintaining those strong relationships with our business contacts.”

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company provides e-mail outsourcing for the North American market, and feels that current solutions are not reliable enough to face today’s escalating computer security-related threats.

“The prevalence of e-mail viruses is astounding,” commented Electric Mail president Cathy Munn. “We’re currently finding an average of one infected message in every 500 that we scan, and the number has actually been creeping up over the last year despite corporations use of internal virus scanning systems.”

Unlike traditional antivirus solutions, Electric Mail does not require its customers to install and maintain software packages. Messages found to be clean after an outbound scan are delivered with a company tagline. Users who accept the tagline option will receive the service for free. The new service is also available for free to current company customers.

Computer Viruses & Linux

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) at Carnegie Mellon University recently announced the discovery of a worm program that is being used by hackers to hit Linux-based systems.

The vulnerability involves Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) servers used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for e-mail management. Computers that have Red Hat 5.0 installed — and are Intel-driven — according to CERT, are most vulnerable. Red Hat has posted a patch at its official Web site.

Kaspersky Lab of Moscow, has released a beta version of its memory resident anti-virus filter (AVP DAEMON) for Linux, the world’s first, according to a company statement.

The new AVP scanner for Linux, designed for mail systems and Web servers, supports other platforms and, as expected, is available online free of charge.

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