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Agnitum Directions (September, 2007)

  • Beta test:
    Outpost Security Suite 2008 for Windows Vista – we’re almost there!

  • Contest update:
    Your Outpost stories: more than 200 contenders so far!

  • Security Insight:
    Profile of a Malware Analyst

  • Antispam – our 250,000th user!
    Spam Terrier brings an Outpost Security Suite license to the lucky winner

Dear Readers,

We’re continuing to work on Outpost Security Suite 2008 for Windows Vista. In this issue, you’ll find more news about our development progress, as well as a fascinating glimpse into the life of a malware analyst at Agnitum. We’re getting more Outpost stories every day – the contest is open until October 31, so if you haven’t sent yours in yet, there’s still time! And one lucky person wins an Outpost Security Suite license just for downloading Spam Terrier.

Please don’t forget to send us your comments and suggestions, as always. We encourage you to use our web mail form to let us know what you think, or respond to any of our blog postings.

Outpost Security Suite Pro 2008 for Windows Vista – approaching the home straight!

About a month ago, we introduced the first public beta version of Outpost Security Suite 2008 for Windows Vista (also compatible with Windows XP, 2003, 2000). Public testing is continuing, and we’re getting very close to a release candidate. Many thanks to everyone who has helped us throughout the process - your input and recommendations have guided us to make extensive improvements to the software.

In the latest beta version, we’ve resolved many of the performance-related issues and removed most of the limitations in the first public beta. We've enabled the Web Control module (including Content, Ads, Active Content, ID Block and Site Blacklist) and the real-time email attachment scanner. Compatibility issues with third-party NDIS filters under Windows Vista (network monitor software, other security software) have also been resolved. The Antispam module is up and running, so you can now check how its Bayesian filters will protect your Vista-based Windows Mail, Outlook or Outlook Express inbox from unwanted messages.

To sum up, Outpost Security Suite Pro 2008 delivers the following new and improved functionality (just to mention a few):

  • Full Vista 32 and 64-bit platform support.
  • Advanced anti-leak techniques (based on kernel mode hooks).
  • Advanced protection against known botnets and rootkits as well as inadvertent data disclosure.
  • Optional access restriction for potentially malicious or unwanted web sites based on a predefined list of URLs.
  • Site Blacklist functionality.
  • Fast-user switching functionality to provide more flexibility for all account owners on a shared PC.
  • Outpost’s old Log Viewer replaced by a plain-text log database format that makes it easier to import, process and maintain records of past activities.
  • Real-time scanning of email attachments.
  • Flexible scheduling for regular malware scans.

OSS 2008 has a completely new Vista-standard graphic user interface and triple-level security architecture. The latter provides improved and safe interaction between kernel mode, user mode and a mediating user mode service. This approach removes the possibility of system freezes and user-switching problems, and significantly increases the overall stability of the product.

Our focus on this final stretch is to decrease the resource load as much as possible without impacting quality and functionality. We’ll keep you informed on our further progress with development and localization and in the meantime encourage you to download this beta version and share your impressions. Don’t forget to submit information about any bugs or problems you encounter.

As for the standalone Outpost Firewall Pro 2008, this will most likely reach release candidate stage and be launched simultaneously with shortly after the final release of Outpost Security Suite Pro 2008. Our recommendation for Agnitum’s firewall fans remains the same: to test this core part, just disable all the other plugins in the Suite and run the firewall as a standalone solution.

Your Outpost stories: more than 200 contenders so far…

In the last issue of Directions, we announced the Outpost story contest. We asked you to tell us how Outpost products defended your computer against various types of malware and hacking techniques - and the response has been even better than we expected. As of now, we have received about 200 stories of very different styles and contents from all over the world – from both native English-speakers and those for whom English is a second – or even third - language. Some of the stories are technical, some are humorous – we particularly liked some of those! It will be very difficult for us to select ten winners, but even so, you can still enter – the contest doesn’t close until October 31. You could be one of the lucky winners to receive a brand-new 8 Gb iPhone valued at $399, together with a life-time Outpost Security Suite Pro license. You can submit your story here.

To give you a little flavor of the kind of stories we’re receiving, we’ve posted ten randomly-selected examples on the web-site. Call it a challenge – we’re sure you can use your creative talents to do as well or better!

Just one final reminder: while your story can be of any length and style, bad language and slander are forbidden!

Good luck - we look forward to reading your stories!

Profile of a Malware Analyst

In the September issue of Security Insight, Vlad Borisenko, Malware Analyst at Agnitum, talks about the ins and outs of his profession. This interview reveals the background of a real malware specialist, his thoughts about cyber-threats and a little bit of insider information. Interesting reading, and it’s always nice to be reminded that behind good software, there are some really good people!

Read the latest issue of Security Insight and don’t hesitate to add your comments in our blog.

Spam Terrier brings one lucky user an Outpost Security Suite license

Last month, we promised to award the 250,000th downloader of our free antispam product with a free one-year license for Outpost Security Suite Pro 2007. And we’ve kept our promise. We hit the magic number on September 19, 2007, and the key has been delivered to the United States (unfortunately, we are not entitled to disclose the winner’s name). Our congratulations to the lucky winner!

Both the standalone antispam and the antispam module in OSS are making good progress. Incidentally, the quarter-million number was reached almost simultaneously with the antispam plugin being enabled in the latest beta of Outpost Security Suite Pro 2008.

The standalone Spam Terrier is currently compatible with Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express; the anti-spam module in OSS 2008 will also support Windows Mail. We’ll consider additional application support for the standalone product when we’ve completed our research into the different options.

In conclusion

This autumn is shaping up to be a hectic and productive time for Agnitum. We are developing something totally new in terms of Internet security and we appreciate your help and encouragement with this. Meanwhile, we continue to protect you from existing dangers with our current products, Outpost Firewall Pro 4.0 and Outpost Security Suite Pro 2007. So relax while Agnitum takes care of your security!



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