Symantec Security Response – Virus Definitions Download Page/ MailWasher

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Symantec Security Response – Virus Definitions Download Page

Symantec Norton AntiVirus

http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/defs.download.html

While there are a lot of security issues with computers, for most of us the main one is the threat of viruses. It is critical that anti-virus protection be installed, and that virus definitions be kept current.

Many companies have put in mechanisms that will update virus definitions on a regular basis. As an example, current versions of Norton Anti-Virus have a live update feature that will download the most-current version of virus definitions – and sometimes program upgrades, generally on Wednesday afternoon.

While this is probably adequate for most of us, Symantec actually releases virus definitions daily! These updates are to be found at http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/defs.download.html . If you happen to use NAV, we strongly urge you to bookmark this page, check it daily (or have someone check it daily for you, and that you download the updated virus definitions as they occur. The files are around three megabytes, which takes relatively little time to download, and the increase in security seems well worth the minimal effort.

It may well be that other vendors also update their definitions daily. Check with your vendor to see how they handle this issue.

MailWasher

Nick Bolton and eCOSM 2001

http://www.mailwasher.net/

Junk e-mail is an annoyance, a waster of resources, and a danger because of the potential exposure to unknown viruses and worms. Spam filters, which capture e-mail as it downloads and sends spam unseen to a special folder reduces the annoyance, but not the consumption or resources or the potential danger.

MailWasher is a free (you can make a small donation if you choose, and we understand that soon there also be a commercial version) e-mail preprocessor that allows you to look at mail on your POP3 server without downloading it, which can save a lot of download time, and avoids the risk associated with downloads. You can delete messages directly from the server. You can bounce messages (MailWasher will send a fake “address not found” message to the spammer, reducing the likelihood of getting repeat spam, then delete it from the server without downloading). It can identify spam (it can look at spam databases, plus has its own logic for identifying spam) and some viruses, and mark them for deletion (you can un-mark these if you choose).

MailWasher will also allow you to set up filters to mark messages, based on criteria you choose, for deletion or bouncing, either displaying the item or not, as you choose, and to identify e-mail addresses as friends or to blacklist them for automatic marking for deletion or bouncing.

We recommend deleting but not bouncing. Although bouncing may reduce the amount of spam you get, it also increases the amount of traffic. Since there is so much junk e-mail (we get between 9,000 and 10,000 pieces a month), it seems kinder to merely delete it on the server, and not burden the system with another 10,000 pieces of junk.

This is an excellent program, and well worth downloading and using as an email pre-processor before downloading your e-mail. When the commercial version appears we will recommend that, too.

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