Scanning all data packets
4th December 2001 (The Star)

MUMBAI, India-based Micro World Software Services Pte Ltd ( recently unveiled its Internet and e-mail security software titles to the local market.

eScan is a comprehensive all-in-one anti-virus, content security and TCP/IP traffic scanning software that scans e-mail messages, attachment files, and webpages for viruses, restricted words and/or phrases, or embedded objects such as malicious Java applets.

Apart from that, the administrator can also monitor web usage patterns and block websites deemed unsuitable for viewing or set a time limit for Internet access.

eScan comes in four flavours: Professional Edition for the individual user; Enterprise Edition, Corporate Edition, and Virus Control Edition for organisations.

MailScan is basically an anti-virus and content scanner for corporate e-mail servers. It also functions as a spam blocker.

Micro World managing director and chief operating officer Govind Rammurthy said, eScan and MailScan complement each other by providing complete security against any threats.

According to Govind, eScan and MailScan's strengths lie in their abilities to scan and detect any virus (or restricted web content) in real-time.

Both software titles use the company's patented MicroWorld-Winsock Layer (MWL) technology which sits in between the Winsock layer (the Internet) and the user's PC, acting as a transparent gateway, he said.

Govind claimed MWL is a revolutionary technology because unlike the other products or technologies that are currently available, MWL scans all data packets and hence, has the ability to tackle a threat before it reaches the user's hard disk.

"It builds a wall around the Winsock or the 'Transport Layer' rather than the file layer, which other software titles do," said Govind.

So, how does it work? First, according to Govind, the software assembles all the packets coming from the different TCP/IP ports such as FTP, ICQ, e-mail messages and the Internet.

Then, it decodes the contents and the attachments before sending them through numerous security filters such as the PC virus filter, content filter and the attachment filter, to check the validity of the file content and issue dynamic notifications.

In layman's terms, all data downloaded from the Internet will have to undergo various filtering processes before the data is allowed to proceed to the user's hard disk.

However, users will not feel any lag-time while downloading, browsing websites or copying files because the process only takes a fraction of a second to complete.

Data or content with problems will be quarantined and the software will report to the user or the network administrator enquiring further instructions such as remove the virus, stop the scanning process or just log the event, he said.

The eScan Professional Edition is priced at RM158 for a single user. Prices for the other software titles (the eScan Enterprise, Corporate and Virus Control editions, as well as MailScan) are based on the number of user licences.