Consumers will soon be able to check incoming email against a sender reputation database service thanks to a free software plug-in toolbar that is being made available by enterprise security and message filtering vendor CipherTrust Inc.
The TrustedSource Toolbar that launches this week is CipherTrust’s first foray into the consumer and home-user security space.
The free toolbar sits on top of the PC user’s inbox. It is powered by the TrustedSource reputation database which scores IP addresses on a spectrum of good to bad, depending on the sender history and various message characteristics. The system works like a reverse DNS checker, said David Stanley managing director and VP CipherTrust EMEA. It performs a quick look-up to the reputation database, scoring it against details held on the sender IP address.
The reputation database has tens of millions of addresses in it, each with a reputation score. Unknown addresses, many of which can be zombies, have no reputation. The company says it analyzes data from a variety of sources, including more than 100 billion consumer/ISP messages a month and another 10 billion enterprise messages a month.
The system creates a profile of all senders’ behavior based on several criteria. These include details on when the sender was seen for the first time, how much e-mail the sender posts, whether they send and receive or just send, and whether the messaging comes in bursts or is of a more continuous pattern.
Incoming mail from a reputable sender is given a green light safe icon, while messages coming from unknown or a known bad IP address would be flagged in red. Home users can actually report phishing and spam back to the central database, giving them the a useful tool to fight back against attempts to steal money or identities.
The company said it has been spurred to do this by the rise of phishing and malicious mail and the proliferation of zombie PCs. We see this as a way to reduce the number of zombies out there, and stop the flow of phishing attacks, said Stanley.
The toolbar can be downloaded from www.research.ciphertrust.com. It is available in formats that are suitable for use with full client versions of Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes, with Webmail support to follow.