E-mail software maker Sendmail is partnering with software company Cloudmark to provide integrated anti-spam features for companies using Sendmail e-mail messaging products.

Cloudmark's Authority enterprise anti-spam technology will be integrated with Sendmail MTAs (message transfer agents), giving Sendmail customers a "plug-and-play" anti-spam technology, Cloudmark said.

Sendmail, which is also available as open-source software, is one of the mostly commonly used enterprise e-mail platforms and the partnership is likely to bring more exposure to Cloudmark, an anti-spam startup founded by Napster co-founder Jordan Ritter and Vipul Ved Prakash, a co-founder of Cloudmark.

Cloudmark's products use a Microsoft Outlook antispam plug-in called SpamNet to maintain a distributed, 700,000 person peer-to-peer anti-spam network. Technology designed by Prakash called "Vipul's Razor" allows Cloudmark to assemble samples of spam e-mail submitted by SpamNet users and distill "spamGenes," the basic building blocks of spam messages, from the submissions.

The spamGenes are used to create signatures, or "spamDNA," that Cloudmark's products use to identify and block spam messages and allow legitimate e-mail correspondence to pass through undisturbed, Cloudmark said.

Cloudmark's Authority product runs in memory on an organisation's existing Sendmail MTA and uses the information from SpamNet to flag spam e-mail, Cloudmark said.

Sendmail's decision to partner with Cloudmark comes after a number of similar announcements by other enterprise messaging and e-mail security companies.

In September, Sophos announced the purchase of anti-spam maker ActiveState Corp. for US$23 million. Sophos intends to merge ActiveState's PureMessage antispam gateway with its own gateway mail product, MailMonitor.

Adding to the pressure on Sendmail, other leading messaging software vendors, including Trend Micro and Network Associates, announced partnerships or made purchases in the last year to add anti-spam capabilities to their products.