Praise for the unsung heroes of email

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Feb 4, 2015

Many decent performances in VB's latest comparative spam filter test.

A decade ago, there were optimists who thought that the spam problem would soon be eradicated. At the same time, pessimists thought that spam would quickly become such a big problem that we'd all stop using email.

The bad news is that the optimists were wrong: the vast majority of email traffic sent these days is spam. The good news is that the pessimists were wrong too: spam is so well mitigated that billions of people still use email every day.

Spam filters — or email security solutions, as they are often called these days — aren't solely responsible for this mitigation, but they play a very important part, making them the unsung heroes of the email infrastructure. When they do their job well, spam filters keep inboxes tidy and prevent users from being tempted to open dodgy links or malicious attachments.

As the spam landscape evolves, so do spam filters. Or so one would hope. Since the spring of 2009, Virus Bulletin has been publishing bi-monthly reports on the performance of spam filters.

The most recent of these reports was published earlier this week. For most participating products there was good news: they bounced back from a relatively weak performance in the November 2014 test.

Thirteen products achieved the widely respected VBSpam award for their performance, and six of them — ESET, GFI, Kaspersky, Libra Esva, OnlyMyEmail and ZEROSPAM — even achieved a VBSpam+ award for blocking more than 99.5% of spam, while blocking no legitimate emails and very few newsletters.

For some products, however, the results were disappointing and their developers will be working hard to show that their poor performance was a one-off incident.

  The VBSpam quadrant sets the spam catch rate against the rate at which legitimate emails are being blocked. Click here for a larger version of the graph.

The full VBSpam report can be downloaded here in HTML format or here as a PDF. For an easier to digest version of the results, a summary of the report can be downloaded here in HTML format or here as a PDF.

Are you providing an email security solution whose performance you'd like to be measured by Virus Bulletin? Do not hesitate to email VB Editor Martijn Grooten at martijn.grooten@virusbtn.com or check out the details of our consulting services.

Posted on 04 February 2015 by Martijn Grooten

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2019 conference programme announced

VB is excited to reveal the details of an interesting and diverse programme for VB2019, the 29th Virus Bulletin International Conference, which takes place 2-4 October in London, UK.

VB2018 paper: Under the hood - the automotive challenge

Car hacking has become a hot subject in recent years, and at VB2018 in Montreal, Argus Cyber Security's Inbar Raz presented a paper that provides an introduction to the subject, looking at the complex problem, examples of car hacks, and the…

VB2018 paper and video: Android app deobfuscation using static-dynamic cooperation

Static analysis and dynamic analysis each have their shortcomings as methods for analysing potentially malicious files. Today, we publish a VB2018 paper by Check Point researchers Yoni Moses and Yaniv Mordekhay, in which they describe a method that…

VB2019 call for papers closes this weekend

The call for papers for VB2019 closes on 17 March, and while we've already received many great submissions, we still want more!

Registration open for VB2019 ─ book your ticket now!

Registration for VB2019, the 29th Virus Bulletin International Conference, is now open, with an early bird rate available until 1 July.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.