Most organizations currently rely on the first generation of spam-fighting tools, most of which focus on content and lists of known bad senders. These solutions worked reasonably well to defend against unsophisticated commercial spam. However, today’s highly motivated spammers and attackers have learned to easily evade these conventional defenses, leaving networks exposed and requiring network administrators to constantly adjust their settings to keep pace.
Content was King
The trouble with conventional content-based approaches is that profit motivates attackers to constantly outsmart the latest mousetrap. Additionally, users often want to send or receive legitimate mail that exhibits the characteristics of spam in either the subject line or the content.
Other conventional email filtering methods try to identify spammers. However, these approaches mainly rely on individual users reporting mail with bogus content, which introduces subjective human judgment and works too slowly to stay ahead of today's targeted attacks. Blacklisting organizations have even tried to catch and identify spammers with tricks such as "honey pots," which are simply fake email addresses with no real person attached. But spammers are finding ways to sidestep these traps as well.
Abaca Cloud — New Technology to Counter a New Threat
Abaca® Cloud™ takes a completely different approach to deliver protection against conventional spam as well as the new generation of malicious and targeted attacks. The patented Abaca technology uses a mathematical formula to precisely differentiate spam from legitimate messages.
How it works:
Unlike conventional email filters that narrowly focus on detecting spam-like content or known senders of spam, Abaca Cloud takes a multi-dimensional approach. It works in real-time to analyze a number of factors to create an extremely accurate probability model of whether or not a message is spam. Because it does not rely on content inspection, the Abaca solution is completely language independent and immune to many of the most sophisticated tricks that spammers use to mask commercial or malicious content.
Key to the revolutionary Abaca Cloud Solution is a multi-layered approach that combines several techniques to deliver unparalleled effectiveness.
Deep Envelope Inspection
There is more to an email header than meets the eye. A deep analysis of the header reveals critical information such as how it got to the receiver—e.g., did it come directly from your bank or was it in the hands of someone bad in the middle. Experience gained from processing billions of messages a month has enabled Abaca to develop automated forensics that look for telltale signs of forged headers and obfuscated sender addresses—all in real time. This automated intelligence validates the envelope and detects who sent it and who handled it in between.
Although the ingenuity of spammers is unlimited, Abaca has developed a revolutionary technology that relies on the fact that they will always need someone to receive their mail. The patented Abaca ReceiverNet™ Protection Network rates individual receivers based on a number of factors, including how much spam they attract. By applying this reputation rating to approximately 50 other variables—including information gleaned from deep envelop inspection—Abaca Cloud achieves a 99.997 percent catch rate as verified in independent tests.
Because the ReceiverNet network is based in the cloud, information on a large number of receivers can be leveraged to more accurately establish the reputation of the individual receivers. It all works automatically without the need for administrators to manually update lists of bad senders, the latest malware, or other email-borne threats. The cloud-based system also uses this large pool of data to learn, so that unlike conventional solutions that degrade over time, it becomes more accurate with each email. It also remembers feedback from individual users to learn what email they want to receive.
When an email arrives at the Abaca Cloud filter—whether in the cloud, a private cloud, or installed in front of a corporate email server or at an ISP—a small portion of the critical header message is stripped and sent to the ReceiverNet network. The advanced ReceiverNet algorithm instantly computes the odds that the message is spam by a using mathematical analysis that combines receiver reputation with other variables. Depending on whether the customer has deployed Abaca Cloud as a filter or prefilter, the message is then either blocked or marked as probably spam for the local filter to make a determination.