Tag Archives: 0Spam.Net

An Apology, And Some More Ways Out Of Spam and Viruses

Just got an angry email from the folk at 0Spam.Net, who I mentioned in an earlier post as one of the companies somewhat, er, quick to congratulate itself in the wave for avoiding the worst of MyDoom.

Bill Franklin, 0Spam.Net president, writes that “Whether our product works or not and its value to your readers seems to not be of importance in your column, we’re just someone out of whom to get some mileage, at the cost of tarnishing our reputation.”

My apologies. Perhaps I wasn’t fair. I wasn’t questioning the quality of the service; It just appeared unseemly that, while business and home users were still grappling with MyDoom infections, companies should be firing out dozens of press releases trumpeting their successes in keeping the virus out. But that aside, there are some excellent email services that do keep out spam and viruses (I’m using, and have recommended, one of them: AlienCamel) and 0Spam.Net sounds like another one. These services transfer the onus of filtering out rubbish, both destructive and annoying, so that the end user doesn’t need to set up a spam filter, or an anti-virus program on their computer. All you have to do is to cough up a bit of extra money ($15 for six months for AlienCamel, $5 a month for 0Spam.net) , and change your email settings a tad.

Of 0Spam.Net, Bill writes: “The truth is, our service works nearly flawlessly – try to find another anti-spam, anti-virus product that comes anywhere close to our accuracy level: 100% detection of viruses and a 1 in 2,250,000 error rate of false positives for spam detection with a spam detection rate of 99.996%.” That’s a pretty good ratio.

Another service that promises to do the same thing is ZoEmail, just launched yesterday. For $1 a month ZoEmail claims to ”completely stop spam and finally give e-mail users real control over what lands in their inbox”. I’ve written an entry on ZoEmail here.

Now, The MyDoom Backslapping

Queue trumpets. The security software folk have started congratulating themselves for saving us from MyDoom.

Here’s DeepNines Technologies, “the only company to offer a security platform that includes firewall, intrusion prevention and gateway anti-virus functionality in front of the router”, which says: “Companies that have Sleuth9 deployed in front of the router, are finding that approximately 1.5 out of every 10 emails are infected and they are successfully blocking those emails at the perimeter, thus preventing MyDoom from impacting the network.”

Here’s CrystalTech Web Hosting Inc, “a Microsoft Windows-based web host located in Phoenix, Arizona”, which says it “has effectively eliminated the threat of the MyDoom virus for over 1.2 million mail accounts and over 38,000 domains that are hosted on their network”.  Customers, the company is not shy in pointing out, were impressed: “The speed and efficiency with which CrystalTech acted did not go unnoticed by their customers. Several noted on the CrystalTech message board that they were seeing few, if any, infected messages in their inboxes. The majority stated that they were seeing more in their outside accounts, with one customer stating that their free email account was full with infected messages within a day, whereas his CrystalTech account had a single infected message.”

In fact, reading this stuff you’d think the virus had only hit folk in outer space. BorderWare Technologies Inc., “The Security Appliances Company(TM)”, says “no MXtreme Mail Firewall customers have been affected by the MyDoom outbreak or any of its variants and mutations”.

And, then of course, there’s the intoxicating smell of free publicity: 0Spam.Net, “the most accurate Anti-Spam solution in the world for eliminating Spam, Pornography, Phishing (Identity Theft Fraud) and Viruses from email”, is offering “free protection against email delivery of the MyDoom virus and any variants that might appear over the next 30 days” to ISPs, companies, governmental or non-profit organizations, and extends to individuals and families as well. It’s not clear whether this offer was already in place before MyDoom hit. Now that really would have helped.

The there’s the individual heroics: My favourite is from San Diego, where, hours before the world realized what was happening, a certified Juvio computer technician, assisting a customer with a troubled computer detected the MyDoom virus. “With no known protection codes available, the Juvio technician immediately set about to write script to defeat this destructive new virus. In a matter of minutes, the victimized customer ceased to be attacked by this malicious virus thanks to the expertise and quick skill of the attending Juvio technician. The technician immediately alerted fellow Juvio technicians to the situation and provided them with a repair solution, effectively assisting several global customers who found themselves to be in need of emergency help.” I’m not complaining, by the way: This is an uplifting tale and much more fun to read than most press releases.

The serious point in all this, I guess, is that the flood of press releases that tracked MyDoom’s progress (including interactive maps and charts), and now this self-congratulatory fluff, brings home how much money is to be made from selling stuff to protect people.