GFI MailEssentials 11's New SURBL Feature Enhances Spam Detection

Latest version of GFI's acclaimed anti-spam solution steps up its fight against spam with hot new features

London, UK, 6 April 2005 - GFI has announced the release of GFI MailEssentials for Exchange/SMTP 11. The latest version of the server-based anti-spam solution improves its existing spam filtering techniques, which include Bayesian filtering, and adds new features that guarantee maximum spam detection rate with next to no false positives.

Version 11 now includes SURBL checking, to detect spam based on URLs in the message body; enhanced protection against directory harvesting attacks; a users' instant view of e-mails from people who have never e-mailed them before and the ability for administrators to configure custom RBL servers.

"Spam costs American business nearly $22 billion a year in lost productivity, and this figure is on the rise. Meanwhile, the increase and variety of junk e-mail attacks show that spammers are getting smarter. GFI MailEssentials 11 therefore combines various up-to-the-minute technologies in its battle to outsmart spammers, achieving a detection rate of over 98%," said David Vella, Product Manager at GFI.

New features include:

  • Support for multiple third party SURBL servers: GFI MailEssentials can now check e-mail content also against spam URL real-time blacklists (SURBL) servers. This feature will extract links or domains from the message body and query whether these are listed on public spam URL blacklists such as More information on SURBL can be found at

  • Improved third party DNS blacklists (DNSBL) checking: GFI MailEssentials 11 enables administrators to configure custom real-time blacklist (RBL) servers and multiple DNSRBL servers, add their own, and define the order of priority of servers to be checked. This improves on the product's existing third party DNS blacklist checking module, which checks against databases of known spammers such as ORDB, SpamHaus, and Spamcop.

  • Instant view of e-mails from new senders: A New Senders feature provides users with an instant view of e-mails sent from people they never had previous (e-mail) contact with. This helps users to better organize e-mails in their e-mail client as well as minimizing false positives, since the risk of such e-mails being classified as spam is reduced. If an e-mail is not found to be spam by the GFI MailEssentials anti-spam modules and is also not on the whitelist, the New Senders module can move that e-mail to a user's specified subfolder.

  • Enhanced detection of directory harvesting attacks: Spammers often try to guess recipient addresses by generating multiple random e-mail addresses at a domain; they then send their spam mail to all those addresses. GFI MailEssentials checks the validity of ALL the e-mail addresses included in the mail sent, either via a query to Active Directory or now through added support for LDAP. In Version 11, checking if users exist is not limited to Active Directory but is also done against other e-mail servers that support LDAP (for example, native Exchange 5.5). With LDAP, one can also install the product in a DMZ and then perform look-ups against Active Directory by opening the LDAP port in the firewall.

  • Set priorities for each anti-spam module: Administrators can now configure which method of capturing spam is to be given priority, and create their own hierarchical list. For example, one can choose to check all incoming mail firstly against whitelists, then Bayesian scanning, thirdly against custom DNS blacklists and so on.

About GFI MailEssentials for Exchange/SMTP

GFI MailEssentials offers spam protection at server level and eliminates the need to install and update anti-spam software on each desktop. It offers a fast set-up and a high spam detection rate using Bayesian analysis and other methods -- no configuration required, very low false positives through its automatic whitelist, and the ability to automatically adapt to the e-mail environment to constantly tune and improve spam detection.

GFI MailEssentials also adds e-mail management tools to your mail server: disclaimers, mail archiving and monitoring, Internet mail reporting, list server, server-based auto replies, and POP3 downloading. GFI MailEssentials pricing is highly competitive, with a 50-user version costing just US $499, for example. More information about GFI MailEssentials and a trial version are available at: Further information about GFI MailEssentials 11 is available at

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