The New York Times confirms that spam is getting worse, due primarily to two factors: 1) spammers are using farms of spambots running on insecure computers, which are abundant in homes with cable modems, making it ineffective to identify spam by originating IP address. Distributed security threats are always more difficult to block than localized threats. 2) A new type of spam with the message in an image that’s changed slightly each time it’s sent, making it impossible to recognize spam by a checksum on the contents.
I mentioned that the effectiveness of our spam filter, SonicWALL Email Security (formerly MailFrontier), is declining. On the other hand, it seems that Outlook 2003’s junk filter is keeping up. Since I began my experiment the week of Thanksgiving, I’m seeing 94-99% daily effectiveness from Outlook 2003 alone (with MailFrontier disabled on my mailbox). Yesterday it was 100% effective. Other staff we put on Outlook 2003 for our test have given similar reports.
What does Microsoft know that SonicWALL doesn’t know? Why would we pay SonicWALL thousands of dollars per year for filtering that is LESS effective than the filter built-in to Outlook? Jerry, my SonicWALL reseller, has tried to get their attention. I also e-mailed one of their product managers nearly two weeks ago, with no reply at all so far. Jerry says we should hear something on Monday. Grrr.