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MailScanner – now appearing in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Published: 22 January 2010

Described by reviewers as ‘2010's First Must-Have iPhone Game’ and released this week by Rockstar Games in an iPhone edition, Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest-selling games of all time.

The latest game in the series, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, incorporates a different presentation and a range of new high-tech features. It also includes an ‘homage’ to MailScanner, the world-leading email security and anti-spam system, developed in the School of Electronics and Computer Science by Julian Field.

‘I’m used to seeing MailScanner break records,’ says Julian, ‘but with this appearance in Grand Theft Auto I can truly say that the software has now gone where no other similar package has gone before.’

In the game play, players have an in-game PDA (electronic personal organiser) and can receive emails from characters in the game to help their play. As the game begins, the in-game ‘Email Inbox’ already contains some messages - one of which is spam, tagged with MailScanner's familiar "(SPAM?)" tag in its subject-line.

‘These subject tags are unique to MailScanner,’ says Julian. ‘They first appeared as a feature of MailScanner in 2000 and since then have appeared in emails around the world in every country and in many billions of mailboxes.’

Julian began developing MailScanner in 2000 and Version 4.78 was launched in October 2009. It has been downloaded over 1.3 million times. Its success can be judged from the fact that it is used in some of the world’s leading organizations in 226 countries, for example: the US Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Harvard, MIT, and Cambridge universities, Vodafone Europe, Amnesty International, Friends Of The Earth and the British Antarctic Survey. The technology is fast becoming the standard email solution at many ISP sites for virus protection and spam filtering.

Julian commented: 'MailScanner's appearance in Grand Theft Auto: China Wars is the latest sign of MailScanner's acceptance into the general world of email, demonstrating that even game authors are aware of its widespread use, and can rely on the fact that game players will recognise the tags added by MailScanner to email recognised as spam.’

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453.

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