Symantec, the anti-virus people, has recently bought TurnTide, the company behind the SpamSquelcher technology.
SpamSquelcher was originally developed by the ePrivacy Group as anti-spam software that, in the words of CNET, “analyzes incoming mail and, in a technique known as ‘traffic shaping’, targets broadband connections serving as great riverbeds for spam.” This traffic shaping basically means that the connections with suspect servers and computers are half-throttled, so that while the spam gets through, it takes a long time to do it. As CNET explains, “SpamSquelcher ultimately lets all of the e-mail through–even the spam. But once spammers realize their bulk mailing is taking hours and days to process, rather than minutes, they typically abandon the connection and leave the ISP alone”.
The purchase follows Symantec’s acquisition of Brightmail a month ago. Brightmail is also a provider of ISP/gateway/ompany level anti-spam products, as well as email fraud protection software, and a ‘reputation service’ which “provides administrators with the most accurate information about the trustworthiness of email senders and sources”. Brightmail is now available under the Symantec umbrella brand.
It’s odd that Symantec has not trumpeted this acquisition. There’s been no press release and the only way to find out is by visiting TurnTide’s website. Clearly Symantec is moving into the anti-spam business, in part an acknowledgement that viruses, worms and trojans can no longer be treated separately from spam.
It’ll be interesting to see how Symantec put the two acquisitions together. As Stephen Cobb, who used to be involved with SpamSquelcher, says: “Since the same technology has applications beyond spam, as in the control of outbound email at the network layer, I think this acquisition is a very smart move by Symantec and a good fit with their earlier acquisition of Brightmail.”