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Untangle to Test Porn Filters

Similar test found shortcomings in many antivirus products.

Untangle to Test Porn Filters
SAN FRANCISCO — Following the success of last year's Anti-Virus Fight Club, Untangle will conduct a similar test for pornographic websites during the security conference RSA.

The test will take place April 9 during the conference, which will be held in San Francisco.

Using an open testing format, Deep Throat Fight Club will test six Web-filtering products for their effectiveness at blocking pornographic websites.

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Untangle, an open-source gateway provider, conducted a similar test among antivirus products last year. In that test, only three products stopped all 25 viruses, and one product stopped fewer than 10 percent.

This year, Untangle will test some of the best-known content filters that companies and parents use to block access to objectionable material. Products from Barracuda, Fortinet, Scansafe, SonicWall, Watchguard and Websense will be included in the test.

"No filter is going to catch everything," said Dirk Morris, chief technology officer and co-founder of Untangle. "So we're benchmarking the industry to give everyone a better idea of what to expect."

In the test, operators will use PCs protected by the various filters to search for 5,000 popular porn URLs and find out whether the computers are able to access them.

"We chose porn because it's the most visceral of the content that these filters need to screen out and because porn sites are becoming an increasingly popular platform for launching malware," Morris said. "Allowing porn in your enterprise can not only create legal and moral issues, but it's rapidly becoming a real threat to security."

Untangle representatives declined to comment specifically on the results of early tests of filtering products, but they have seen some significant shortcomings in content filters.

Content filtering probably will never be 100 percent effective, Morris said.

"There will always be ways for the content to get through," he said, "and there will always be users who try to get around the filters."






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