IBM has announced that it is making it FairUCE anti-spam product available for free. “FairUCE” stands for “Fair use of Unsolicited Commercial Email”.
FairUCE is an SMTP proxy for PostFix which works as a sort of amalgamation of email authentication and challenge/ response. In theory, at least, and hopefully in practice, anyone running a PostFix installation should be able to incorporate FairUCE onto their server.
As IBM explains it:
“FairUCE tries to find a relationship between the envelope sender’s domain and the IP address of the client delivering the mail, using a series of cached DNS look-ups. For the vast majority of legitimate mail, from AOL to mailing lists to vanity domains, this is a snap. If such a relationship cannot be found, FairUCE attempts to find one by
sending a user-customizable challenge/response. This alone catches 80% of UCE and very rarely challenges legitimate mail. A future version will incorporate Sender Policy Framework (SPF) or similar sender identification systems; SPF-enabled domains will not require a challenge. Challenges are sent using a dedicated queue with a short lifetime so it does not get bogged down or interfere with legitimate mail.
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If a relationship can be found, FairUCE checks the recipient’s whitelist and blacklist, as well as the domain’s reputation, to determine whether to accept, reject, challenge on reputation, or present the user with a set of whitelist/blacklist options. A future version will use a real domain reputation system; currently this is implemented as a “whois” look-up to determine the domain’s age when it first sent mail to the recipient.”
IBM, which recently stepped out of the personal computer market, has a history of developing “for the greater good” sorts of software, and then giving it away to the public for, well, the greater good, including web, network, and development software.
IT folks interested in reading more about or downloading FairUCE should go to the FairUCE Homepage.
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