Akonix takes aim at spim

Akonix Systems on Tuesday released a version of its instant messaging management and security gateway designed to block spim and malicious code.

Version 3.0 of the company's L7 Enterprise gateway for instant messaging includes an automatically updated filter, much like those for spam and anti-virus software, that dynamically blocks worms, viruses and other malware to protect networks from IM-borne attacks.

Spim is nowhere near the epidemic of spam, but experts say the problem will grow and now is the time to tackle it. Yahoo Inc. reports that less 2 percent of traffic on its Yahoo IM service is spim.

The L7 spim and malware filter automatically downloads and installs updates produced by the Akonix security team, which monitors public and corporate IM networks for emerging threats and develops policies to block malicious content.

Unlike spam, which uses spoofed addresses to slip past filters, IM use is typically confined to a known group of buddies. Spim and other malware, therefore, is easily recognizable by the characteristics of the message.

In addition to the filter, Akonix also has added an automatic recovery system that can restart the gateway without user intervention. Akonix L7 Version 3.0 also includes support for Microsoft's Live Communications Server and Windows Server 2003. Also included is the ability for users to self-register their user names when other authentication methods are unavailable, and an automatic recovery and diagnostic mechanism for administrators.

Akonix, which competes with vendors such as FaceTime Communications Inc. and IMLogic Inc., has added capabilities that make presence information in the gateway available to the Akonix Application Developer Program.

Akonix L7 Version 3.0 is available now and is priced at US$4,000 for a 50-user license.

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