Feeds

Claranet drops virus outbreak blocker

Generic filter causes 'false positives'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Claranet, the leading British ISP, this week abandoned its first line of defence against email-borne viruses following performance issues with its in-house developed technology, its global mail filter.

Claranet continues to market to business users a separate service which uses more sophisticated virus scanning and filtering. Other ISPs sometimes bundle such services with basic access packages targeted at consumers - for example, BTOpenworld this month rolls out virus/spam blocking technology from Brightmail/Symantec to improve the customer online experience.

Claranet takes a different line. Since the decision to drop its global mail filter, the ISP advocates a DIY approach - advising home users to use desktop AV scanners (which they should use anyway) and to set email clients to automatically delete email from persistent virus senders.

Claranet introduced a global mail filter to protect customers from infection by the prolific Anna Kournikova virus. Email headers were searched for filename attachments associated with viruses. If a virus is detected the software returns a message to the sender with a note informing them of the infection.

This worked well during the Anna K outbreak but with many new viruses using spoofing the technology is becoming more trouble that it's worth, prompting a decision (at least for now) to sideline it, the ISP says.

Neil Levine, Claranet CTO, explains: "Claranet has over the years applied generic filters to our mail spool to prevent mails which may be virus infected being delivered. However, as a result, there was a strong potential for false positives to be generated, which may have meant valid, non-infected mails were filtered out."

"After consulting with customers on our newsgroups, the global filters were removed after customers stated they preferred to control the type of filtering themselves, either using Claranet's User Mailfilter facilities or by using locally installed software on their PCs.

"Any virus in the future which causes service degradation will continue to be filtered." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.