IronPort to acquire SpamCop

The deal is expected to be announced next week

E-mail security hardware maker IronPort Systems Inc. will announce next week that it is buying antispam company SpamCop for an undisclosed sum, according to information obtained by the IDG News Service.

The deal, which is scheduled to be announced next Tuesday, will call for IronPort to invest more than $1 million in SpamCop, helping to keep that service running, according to sources close to the company. IronPort officials declined to discuss the matter today.

SpamCop's spam "blacklist" will continue to be available at no cost to the public after the purchase.

Founded in 2000, IronPort sells networking hardware that enables network administrators to manage e-mail traffic and protect corporate networks from e-mail-borne threats.

IronPort already had a partnership with SpamCop that allowed it to use the company's blacklist data in its SenderBase service. The service compiles information about e-mail senders that then allows network administrators to assign a trust level for the source of messages arriving at their company's messaging gateway, akin to a credit rating for e-mail correspondents.

The company also uses spam-filtering technology from Brightmail Inc. and mail-flow-monitoring technology to stop spam messages.

The purchase is designed to shore up SpamCop, which survives on volunteer help and fees from spam-reporting services.

Recently, prominent antispam blacklists such as SpamCop have been forced to close after suffering sustained distributed denial-of-service attacks that are believed to have been launched by spammers.

Antispam blacklists Monkeys.com and Osirusoft both ceased operations in recent months after being crippled by the attacks.

By absorbing SpamCop, IronPort hopes to keep its valuable spammer blacklist and sender-reputation data public and to enhance its products' ability to stop spam e-mail at the network gateway, before it reaches users' in-boxes, sources said.

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