LuxSci’s Premium Email Filtering service, which works with LuxSci-hosted and externally-hosted email, has a little known feature called “Click Protection” which actively protects end users from phishing attacks and malware.
Some of the most common forms of malicious email involve links which:
- Send you to a “phishing” web site: one which looks like a legitimate site (e.g. Bank of America) but which is not. These sites try to get you to give up personal or financial information for malicious uses. More on phishing and social engineering.
- Send you to a site infested with malware: sites which include content that downloads viruses, spyware, or other unwanted programs onto your computer without your consent or (sometimes) even your knowledge. All you have to do is click on the link and you could be infected (depending on what security vulnerabilities are currently open on your computer / browser).
These are nasty. Premium Email Filtering (and indeed many filtering solutions) try to detect such emails and links in messages and block the messages outright as malicious. However:
- For new threats, some messages may get through to recipients before these web sites are identified as malicious.
- The links may point to valid malicious web sites which later, after the emails are successfully delivered to the unsuspecting recipients, are updated to contain malicious content.
So, it is quite possible for email messages with not-yet-malicious or not-yet-known-to-be malicious links to make it through any filtering system and land in your user’s INBOXes, endangering their computers and identities.
Read the rest of this post »