SpamCure unveils flexible mail detection

With Netopia’s customer service and support departments receiving hundreds of e-mail spam messages a day, the firm’s IT director took decisive action by purchasing SpamCure, a new product released in August by Inc.

SpamCure is a spam-filtering service designed to help users eliminate junk e-mail coming in from the Internet. It is compatible with any type of Internet e-mail server. The offering has a tuneable filtering system that almost instantaneous gets rid of the clutter. The user decides what e-mail is considered spam, and there is no perceptible delay in receiving mail – two reasons why Netopia selected SpamCure.

“We wanted an enterprise-level solution that was cost-effective and user-controllable,” said Michael Leonardich, IT director for Alameda, Calif.-based Netopia, which develops, markets and supports broadband gateways and security systems. “Some systems automatically remove spam, so the fear is that they remove something I need.”

When e-mail is filtered through SpamCure, it is subjected to 11 different categories of tests which Ben Westbrook, CEO of, said results in about 95 per cent of spam being identified.

E-mail that SpamCure deems to be spam is flagged and routed into a special folder in the user’s inbox, not automatically deleted. This allows the user complete control over their mailbox; Westbrook recommends users implement a rule into their e-mail server that automatically routes the flagged e-mail into a suspected spam folder.

“Our philosophy is never, ever to delete any mail, so that there is no doubt about mail flow,” Westbrook said.

With SpamCure, the user can peruse the suspected spam folder to see if any legitimate e-mails were flagged incorrectly. If an e-mail was incorrectly identified, the user forwards the e-mail address to

[email protected].

The system automatically adapts and would no longer flag that e-mail address.

If spam gets routed to the user’s inbox, the user simply mails the address to

[email protected].

From that point onwards, that e-mail address would be routed to the spam folder.

Users can also select whether to send the mail directly to their trashcan, or into their junk mail folder, and can block or unblock entire domains.’s SpamCure also employs an Active Detection Network. It’s a network of probes that finds new spam almost as soon as it is sent, calling the new spam “spam signatures.” These signatures are incorporated immediately into the spam filters. This means that there is up-to-the-minute protection for users.

SpamCure is also completely transparent to users, meaning there is no graphical user interface (GUI).

“It runs as an internal part of the e-mail system,” Westbrook said. “The only part the customer sees is whatever their e-mail client is.”

Another reason Netopia – a company of 400 employees – selected SpamCure was its affordability, said Leonardich. SpamCure is priced according to the amount of users in the organization. For a firm with 1,000 to 4,999 users, it costs US$1.50 per mailbox; for 500 to 999 users, it costs US$2 per mailbox, and the price increases as the number of mailboxes decrease. For the cost per user for organizations of 5,000 users, firms are invited to contact directly.

While SpamCure is compatible with any Internet mail server, it is currently only compatible on the Microsoft Windows 2000 with Open BSD, Linux and Solaris platforms. also offers a spam-filtering service called SpamRepellent. Using the same software as SpamCure, SpamRepellent differs in that it is run off the’s server. Client e-mail is routed to where it is filtered before being sent back to the client. offers a free 14-day trial of both services.

For Netopia, security was a concern, a reason why Leonardich selected SpamCure over SpamRepellent, so their e-mail could be filtered on their own premises.

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