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Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 12:08

PerfectMail 3.6.0 is Available

November 21, 2012

PerfectMail 3.6.0 is available now...

PerfectMail 3.6.0 is now available! For auto-update servers, this release will automatically be applied at some point between Monday and Wednesday of that week.

This release makes some major improvements to our spam filtering engine with focus on improved server reputation, spam analysis and anti-phishing techniques. Also, look for new features to ease e-mail/anti-spam administration.

A Note on the new WhoIs Tool

This version of PerfectMail has a tool to perform WhoIs lookups using the whois and rwhois protocols. This protocols use TCP port numbers 43 and 4321 which will have to be opened on the firewall to allow the WhoIs tool to function properly.

Feature Improvements for v3.6.0

Our focus for v3.6.0 was to increase anti-spam effectiveness. But we also added some extra Administrator Tools on the menu to make diagnosing problems a little easier. Below are the Product Improvements for this release:

Filter Improvements:
  • Overall code review producing faster, tighter, more efficient filtering, with improvements to Grey Listing, Sender Policy Framework (SPF) testing, Spam Profiling, Content Filtering, Anti-Obfuscation Engine, Sender Reputation analysis, Anti-Spoofing.
  • New infrastructure analysis functionality to identify local mail servers and relays, identify external mail relays/senders and apply reputation scoring to external mail hosts.
  • Improved Bayesian filtering with protection from Bayesian poisoning attempts.
  • Anti-Virus engine updated.
  • Improved HTML analysis code, HTML link spoofing, remote website probing and analysis.
  • New message structure based tests & known spam structure hashing engine.
  • New "Real Name" testing suite; check/score/validation tests based on the descriptive name of a sender (e.g. "PayPal Support") to fight Phishing.
  • New Character Set identification & analysis; scoring for invalid UTF-8 encoded strings.
  • New Personal Character Set likelihood test; user based adaptive testing.
  • New Character Set discrete scoring; with scores for groups of character set encoding, including: Western, Greek, Cyrillic, Armenian, Hebrew, Arabic, Thaana, African, Indic and Asian character sets.
Domain Filter List Improvements:
  • New "Discard" table; to accept, then discard unwanted messages rather than reject them. This feature is included in Filters=>Black/White List.
  • New "No Reject" table; to selectively accept, then discard rather than reject e-mail. This is useful for mail services that will unsubscribe recipients where messages are rejected by anti-spam systems, even if the messages are spam. This feature is included in Filters=>Black/White List.
User Based Filtering & Reporting Improvements:
  • Improved E-mail Activity Report & Self Service Console.
  • New personal address based filtering; restrict incoming e-mail to known peers.
  • New personal address based black and white lists.
Administrative improvements:
  • Admin Tools: DNS Lookup, Ping, Trace Route, WhoIs, SMTP Test. Look for these new features in the new "Tools" menu.
  • Support for simultaneous access to both Admin Console and Self Service Console; making life easier for Mail Administrators.
  • Mail Log: Last Hour, Last Day, Last Week buttons for message searches.
  • New Report: PerfectMail License advisor.
  • Dashboard: Message ID lookup launcher has been added.
  • Server Admin, Audit Log improvements.
  • Configuration backup changes; the backups now include domain and user based configuration settings.
Anti-Spam Zombie / Anti-Slamming Configuration Options:
  • New MTA General Settings: SMTP Welcome Banner, Fallback Smarthost, Bad Recipients Throttling, No Recipients Action.
  • New MTA Option: Connection Rate Throttle: This defines the overall number of concurrent connections the server accepts per second, before queuing incoming connection-request regardless of the host. The connections will not be rejected but stalled until the next second.
  • New MTA Option: Greeting Pause: This feature delays the initial SMTP greeting to incoming mail servers. A common technique of spammers, trojans and viruses is "slamming" (sending data before a greeting is received). The SMTP-Standard requires the client to wait with the HELO/EHLO-Command until the server has sent its greeting line. Slamming ignores this, and starts sending data immediately. In this situation the PerfectMail server will refuse to accept e-mail from the sending server.
  • New MTA Option: Rate Control: This feature controls how often a single host is allowed to connect per minute. This helps protect against Spam Flooding and Spam Zombie attacks.

-- David Rutherford

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