Grumble Grumble Grumble

ExchangeDefender, OwnWebNow

This was originally intended for OWN Blog, but I could not quite manage to make the post respectful or free of profanities, so Vladville it is.

I want to let you in on something I’m thinking about.

The most exciting product I have is ExchangeDefender. There are days when I just sit there, logged into one of the clusters and watch the lines pop up a few times a second: Detected 112 SPAM, 5920 SureSPAM [Quarantined].

Each time a line pops up on my screen, a little dream of a spammer dies.

It’s the best job you can have on the Internet while still keeping your clothes on.

When I started writing this software in the 90’s I never thought we’d make it to year 2000 doing this, much less 2009. But here we are in 2009. Now we have new enemies, it’s not just Vlad vs. Spammers.

Our users are getting progressively more retarded. (#2)

Our partners are getting dumber by the minute. (#1)

Our battle is no longer against the Spammers. (#3)

The reality of the situation is that we’ve reached the level of technology use in business where education is not enough to keep stupidity away.

#1 Lot’s of people made lot’s of money with ExchangeDefender. It seems they invested it in hiring people dumber engineers because not a day goes by that I don’t hand myself a full faceplant reading some of the feedback and support requests. It’s as if people actively try to shoot themselves in the foot, screw their customer, and ask us to find a more lenient way for them to cover it all up. This leads to #2:

#2 I have lost the number of counts I have personally had to explain to people that the UPS message that we blocked as SPAM was actually a forged SPAM and not really from UPS. I am not a violent person, but I wish I could jump through the phone and choke the stupid fuck, who had the above explained to him, that still wanted the attachment just in case.

#3 The most dangerous people happen to be semi-technical ExchangeDefender users that think they are smarter than the average bear. You know, the CPA network managers (happy new year dear!) who think they have this invisible shield around their network that guards their users from running around the room with scissors and impaling themselves twice a week.

Our threat portfolio has now grown beyond the realm of email.

My personal problem with the above is that it’s not our job to protect users from their stupidity. Web filtering is clearly a realm of local area network policy management, not cloud service provider who takes the brunt of the attack.

Here is a way to simplify the situation: When you are being attacked by thousands of Russians, Chinese, organized criminals and mobsters you do want to have a 500 lb gorilla in front of you. When your dumbass employee wants to download TV shows at work, you beat them with spare office furniture.

That’s just my opinion. Check the local laws, it may not be legal. God bless Texas.

Nobody gives a flying f… what I think:

So we’re extending our ExchangeDefender portfolio to include web filtering.

The ExchangeDefender Desktop Agent ( will have a new beta available mid-January with a web filtering addon that will explicitly protect users from malware. We’re going to try our best to make this free.

Depending on the reception, we will extend it to include policy management and other categories, though that product will come at an additional cost (approximately double what ExchangeDefender currently costs). Almost the entire fee will go to pay for the definition files because, believe it or not, people that browse around pr0n sites to categorize them as pr0n charge for a list of those web sites. A lot.

It has been my firm belief that no infosec company should ever behave like a mob and deliver “as much protection as you can afford” so it comes as a bitter change of course for us to offer an expensive addon to the service.

Anyhow, just thought I’d let you know what’s on my mind. If anyone on my staff would like to take a crack at this blog post and make it sound better than “You all suck, so we have to change our approach to protecting you” please let me know 🙂

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