February 3, 2004
Commtouch Ships Anti-Spam 3.5 to Resellers in North America, Europe and Asia; Offers Enterprises Free 'Spam Audit' Through April 15


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.
Spam Analyzer Component of New Solution Enables Enterprises to Conduct Spam Audit Without 'Taxing' IT Department Resources and Email Users

Commtouch(R) (Nasdaq:CTCH), a global developer and provider of proprietary anti-spam solutions, today announced it has begun shipping its Commtouch Anti-Spam 3.5 version to its numerous resellers located across the globe in North America, Europe and Asia. Commtouch's Anti-Spam 3.5 continues to feature Commtouch's Recurrent Pattern Detection(TM), a patent-pending technology that identifies and neutralizes spammer tricks that currently confound content analysis-based solutions. The new version also offers a range of additional features that meets the needs of larger enterprises, including a Spam Analyzer that enables the IT department to assess both the quantity and qualitative aspects of spam bombarding the enterprise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"Spam is becoming increasingly complex and ever taxing on enterprise resources," noted Oren Drori, director of product marketing at Commtouch. "Today's enterprises, especially large ones, require a solution that doesn't tax the IT department or email user -- one that is easy to install, simple to use and can immediately and automatically adapt to the ever-changing tactics of spammers. A solution that's measurable so that in the end all can feel confident the solution is vital to the enterprise. Recently, in working with prospective reseller partners, we are finding that three of every four evaluations of the Commtouch Anti-Spam solution result in an enterprise purchasing the solution.

"As Commtouch's own form of `tax relief' aimed at reducing the taxing effects of spam, through April 15 Commtouch is offering any enterprise with more than 1,000 employees a free 'spam audit' via the Commtouch Spam Analyzer. The Commtouch Spam Analyzer makes the evaluation process smooth and easy for the enterprise -- with the product running in transparent mode so the IT manager can see full statistics without impacting email users in any way."

Drori added that the Spam Analyzer remains an important metrics tool for IT and senior management long after the Commtouch Anti-Spam solution is selected and installed. "The Spam Analyzer shows the enterprise how well the Commtouch solution is doing in the fight against spam -- it's a real winning feature for the enterprise's IT department, senior management and every individual in the organization who wants email vitality protected," he said.

To take advantage of the free spam audit through April 15, enterprises with more than 1,000 employees can send an email inquiry to stopthetaxingspam@commtouch.com.

Commtouch Approach Meets Enterprise Demand for Real-time Detection, Elimination of Spam

Complicating the issue of spam detection is the matter of defining "spam" for all enterprise users. "The IT administrator cannot and does not want to be responsible for defining what is and isn't spam, instead, they wish to empower their users to define it for themselves," said Drori.

Commtouch sees enterprises increasingly gravitating to a solution that, in real-time, can proactively identify outbreaks of email messages sent en masse that possess inherent characteristics of unsolicited emails.

"Enterprises are telling us they want their anti-spam solution to recognize spam regardless of the language or the format in which it is sent (be it text, graphics or media-rich), and don't want emails either to be wrongfully classified as spam when they are legitimate communications or classified as legitimate emails when they are spam," said Drori. "And yet, while they want a solution that is rational and logical -- which takes a statistical analysis approach toward identifying emails sent en masse -- they also want their IT staff to maintain enough control over the solution to either help employees determine what they themselves view as legitimate or illegitimate emails, or stop employees from taking an inordinate amount of time to categorize what is or isn't spam."

Drori noted that by the end of beta evaluations of Commtouch Anti-Spam 3.5, most IT administrators and email users chose to take a hands-off approach, recognizing that the "out of the box" Commtouch solution provides the best possible tool for spam detection and blocking.

What Commtouch Anti-Spam 3.5 Does and How Recurrent Pattern Detection (RPD) Works

"Essentially, Commtouch is looking at the DNA of emails across the Internet and identifying those that have characteristics of spam sent en masse, and then protecting our customers from them," said Drori. "Many anti-spam solution providers, conversely, are falling into playing the 'duck game', only applied to email. In the duck game, the motto goes, 'if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck.' Commtouch understands the limitations of playing the duck game, as tactics such as phishing (a scam where the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking e-mails appearing to come from some of the Web's biggest sites, including eBay, PayPal, MSN, Yahoo, BestBuy, and America Online, in an effort to 'phish' for personal and financial information from the recipient) and slightly misspelling words to get around content-based anti-spam solutions abound. There are just too many spammer wolves dressed in sheep's clothing. Commtouch's Recurrent Pattern Detection technology sees through the spammer trickery."

How does Recurrent Pattern Detection technology work?

All the messages in each spam outbreak have some recurrent patterns. Commtouch detects and classifies those patterns in real-time:

1. Analyzing a large volume of real email traffic over the Internet, Commtouch detects new recurrent spam patterns immediately once they break out, and maintains a database of spam outbreaks.

2. Commtouch protects its customers by matching incoming messages against the spam outbreak database, in real-time.

Unique 3.5 Benefits:

  • Message content independent -- can detect spam in all languages and in all file formats

  • Insensitive to content manipulation used by spammers -- durable against spammer evolution

  • Provides real-time protection from the very first moment a new spam outbreak is unleashed -- especially effective against recently growing trend of malicious and fraudulent spam messages


Key New Features Contained Within Commtouch Anti-Spam 3.5 Suit Large Enterprises

In addition to the Spam Analyzer, the following key new features have been added to the existing Commtouch Anti-Spam solution to comprise the Commtouch Anti-Spam 3.5 version:

  • Integration with Enterprise resources e.g. existing SQL database and proxy server

  • Differentiated configuration capability for enterprises with multiple departments - perfect fit for large and distributed organizations

  • Full support of Exchange 2003, Windows 2003 and Outlook 2003


About Commtouch
Commtouch Software Ltd. is a global developer and provider of proprietary anti-spam solutions. Its mission is to protect and preserve the integrity of the world's most important communications tool -- email. The company's core technologies reflect its 13 years of experience as a leading vendor of email software applications and provider of global messaging services. Commtouch's patent-pending technologies are employed in solutions that are sold through channels and resellers and also sold directly to enterprises. In addition, Commtouch anti-spam technologies are incorporated in software applications of security and messaging OEMs. Commtouch is headquartered in Netanya, Israel and its subsidiary, Commtouch Inc., is based in Mountain View, CA. The company was founded in 1991 and has been publicly traded since 1999 (Nasdaq:CTCH). To learn more about Commtouch visit www.commtouch.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including projections about our business, within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. For example, statements in the future tense, and statements including words such as "expect", "plan", "estimate", anticipate", or "believe" are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on information available to us at the time of the release; we assume no obligation to update any of them. The statements in this release are not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ materially from our current expectations as a result of numerous factors, including business conditions and growth or deterioration in the Internet market, commerce and the general economy both domestic as well as international; fewer than expected new-partner relationships; competitive factors including pricing pressures; technological developments, and products offered by competitors; availability of qualified staff for expansion; and technological difficulties and resource constraints encountered in developing new products as well as those risks described in the company's Annual Reports on Form 20-F and reports on Form 6-K, which are available through www.sec.gov.

Recurrent Pattern Detection is a trademark and Commtouch is a registered trademark of Commtouch Software Ltd

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