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Dual purpose application born out of spam troubles

  • 18 April, 2006 13:43

<p>Back in 2002, it was unusual to receive 100-150 unwanted emails a day. But Peter Stewart did. As CEO of New Millennium Solutions (NMS), he had taken over the email addresses of former employees who had used online dating services and chat rooms, hence the aggravating and time-wasting flow of spam.</p>
<p>Technical Director Ben Corby sympathised, but had other priorities. Until the day when Peter took a short break, leaving Ben to collect his email. The following weekend, Ben built the embryo of what was to become the successful Australian anti-spam solution, TotalBlock</p>
<p>“Rather than check existing spam technology and the way it worked, I designed a solution to suit our needs,” recalls Ben. “Network management was a high priority too, so I created a dual purpose solution.”</p>
<p>Formed by a group from Amdahl International that bought the company’s intellectual property and development team, NMS had continued to develop and support Amdahl’s CrossView service management product.</p>
<p>In 2001, NMS bought Secure eSolutions, which specialises in the secure batching and transmission of financial transactions. As a result, the company had a customer support and communication structure that relied on extensive use of the Internet for product support.</p>
<p>NMS found that intense attacks on its networks augmented the spam problem and demanded a solution. So the system Ben Corby developed addressed the issues of both unwanted email and network protection/management.</p>
<p>TotalBlock uses challenge-response technology to ensure that only authorised users can send email and as a consequence can incorporate features that recognise and prevent harvesting, storming and malicious attacks. Its effectiveness has increased the security and cost effectiveness of NMS’s networks, as well as totally eliminating spam.</p>
<p>The solution was so effective that NMS launched TotalBlock on the Australian market and today it has more than 100 small to medium enterprise users. Now it has established a track record, NMS is targeting enterprise users, since the solution scales up to infinity. TotalBlock is also being used in the USA and the Philippines, where it is being marketed by reseller partners.</p>
<p>“Although TotalBlock is primarily an anti-spam product that rivals solutions from multinational vendors, and is far more reliable and less trouble to manage than those that use filtering technology, users are finding it is also a very effective means of stopping storming and denial-of-service attacks,” says Peter Stewart. “We don’t know of any other product that offers this dual role versatility. For the price of an anti-spam solution that is already four times less expensive than some, buyers receive the added bonus of a very effective network management solution.”</p>
<p>Meanwhile, Ben Corby continues to evolve TotalBlock in response to the needs of both NMS and a growing user base. The recently released version 2.5 adds a slicker, easier-to-use GUI interface and loads new customer sites automatically.</p>
<p>The new version also speeds up outgoing mail, to assist its arrival in the in-box. It does so by countering the arbitrary actions of many email servers that stop or limit inbound email from certain IP addresses. TotalBlock uses several techniques to overcome this issue, without intervention from a network administrator.</p>
<p>TotalBlock has been short-listed as a finalist for the Consensus Awards, Australia’s only endorsement of innovation, performance and potential. The solution will be on display at CeBIT Australia, on May 9-11. Both Peter Stewart and Ben Corby will be present to demonstrate TotalBlock. Eric Natividad, Managing Director of MISnet, TotalBlock’s Philippines reseller, will be present too.</p>
<p>About TotalBlock</p>
<p>TotalBlock - - is an Australian-developed anti-spam solution that blocks ALL spam, using the challenge-response methodology rather than less reliable filtering techniques. TotalBlock quickly and easily builds up a list of acceptable incoming email senders by replying automatically to all those who are not on the user’s allowed list. The reply message contains a simple action that, when followed, automatically adds the sender to the allowed list. The action can be as simple as replying to the challenge. Since the authorisation process requires human intervention, the challenge process bypasses drone machines that spew out huge volumes of spam. All address book entries are authorised automatically, as are senders who reply to mail sent by the user.</p>
<p># # #</p>
<p>For more information</p>
<p>Peter Stewart or Ben Corby
New Millennium Solutions
Tel. 61-2-9437 9800</p>

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