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Websense Acquires Defensio To Combat Social Network Spam

Websense, which sells Web, data, and e-mail security products, announced the acquisition of Defensio, a technology platform focused on solving the problem of spam on the social Web. Defensio is a spam filtering Web service that is used to protect a blog or Web application from comment spam. Websense will integrate the service in its ThreatSeeker Network by providing visibility into spam posted as comments to social Web sites. Websense said it will also enhance Defensio Web services so third-party Web 2.0 developers can embed Websense content classification intelligence into their applications.

"This acquisition puts Websense years ahead of the security industry in Web 2.0 capabilities and intelligence," said Websense CTO Dan Hubbard. "We've already integrated Defensio intelligence into the ThreatSeeker Network, giving existing Websense customers broader protection from Web 2.0 security threats by making Websense products even more universal, accurate and effective. For example, Websense recently used Defensio-derived intelligence to detect that the popular presidential social networking Web site--my.barackobama.com--hosted links to malicious content within its user-generated blogs."

Criminals are using Web 2.0 sites to spread spam and malicious code, boost search engine rankings and drive phishing and fraud scams. According to Websense Security Labs research, at least 95 percent of all Web posts on blogs, forums and other sites are unwanted content such as spam and malicious content. Additionally, 70 percent of all Web spam and unwanted content is hosted on legitimate sites that allow user-generated content.

Websense said it remains committed to the Defensio developer community, which can use an open application programming interface from Defensio to create plug-ins and applications that use the spam filtering Web service. The company also plans to continue to offer the comment spam filter at no charge for personal use, while offering a new six-month commercial trial at no cost.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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