Monday 12 June 2006

Why Did Microsoft buy Frontbridge? So It Could Get More Spam!

Last year, Microsoft acquired the hosted (or managed) email security service provider, Frontbridge. For some time, I've been saying that there's an interesting competitive advantage enjoyed by Frontbridge and other services providers, such as Postini, MX Logic, MessageLabs, and BlackSpider.

Companies that offer a service to a large number of customers get to see a lot of spam and other unwanted email. This is very useful to spot new types of spam campaigns and spot them quickly. As spammers shift to a botnet model, spam campaigns are hitting harder, sending more messages over a shorter period of time. The quicker a spam control solution can notice a new campaign and block it, the less spam is actually received by users.

Microsoft says that "92% of all email received at is spam," so the FrontBridge team is now receiving an enormous corpus of new spam, which should help them to be more reactive to new spam campaigns..

Interestingly, Microsoft claims that it's also extracting reputation data from spam sent to and, but I'm told by my buddies at Symantec that this is still protected by BrightMail technology.

[edited for clarity June 15 4pm BST]

1 comment:

Ecacofonix said...

Useful update, I would reckon as you have pointed out that it makes a lot of sense for Microsoft to buy this firm so as to offer be heads up on newest spam techniques and offer more solutions for it as well

I co-ordinate pages that provide WWW resources on Linux Research & Future & Free, Open Source Software WWW Resources and we are putting together sections at both these pages for (a) linux-based anti-spam software packages, and (b) those anti-spam packages that are issued under was during that research I came across your blog article...I think the anti-spam is one area where a whole host of powerful products will be required from the open source & gpl communities in the near and (let's hope not) distant future!!

NS @ IT, Software Database

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