Trend Micro bug preys on "P"

By Sandeep Junnarkar
Staff Writer, CNET
May 23, 2003, 7:58 AM PT

Trend Micro`s antispam software recently took issue with the letter "P."
A bug, which appeared in an antispam rule update, began blocking and quarantining all incoming and outgoing messages containing the letter "P," depending on how customers had configured the software. The flaw affected several Trend Micro products designed to filter content, block unsolicited commercial e-mails, and report and monitor the type of information that enters or leaves a company`s network.
The problem affected Cupertino, Calif.-based Trend Micro`s gateway products, including InterScan Messaging Security Suite and InterScan eManager, and the company`s e-mail products, such as ScanMail for Exchange, ScanMail eManager, and ScanMail for Lotus Notes.

The problem occurred in rule No. 915, which updates antispam parameters. The security firm quickly released a fix with rule No. 916 and posted it to its site Tuesday.
Trend Micro could not immediately be reached for comment.
Spam is considered one of the biggest drawbacks of Internet communications, wreaking havoc on computer users and on Internet service providers whose systems are inundated by messages. In effect, spam depreciates the value of e-mail by flooding it with an enormous volume of pornographic and get-rich-quick solicitations.
Antispam rules are updated frequently to keep pace with spammers who routinely fool filters by tweaking the contents, addresses and subject lines of their messages.