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New App Lets IT Find Porn on Users' PCs

Thumb drive detector could also be used by police, parents

Keeping users' PCs free of inappropriate or legally worrisome content is part of the IT department's job. But finding pornography, which is often disguised or buried on a user's hard drive, is not always an easy task.

To help, a company called SurfRecon yesterday introduced a thumb drive called the Pornography Detection Tool. The drive, which is now available to IT departments, schools, and parents, was originally created to enable members of law enforcement to quickly find, categorize, and delete pornographic content from almost any computer system, including attached storage devices.

Different from a filter or firewall, SurfRecon actively searches for pornographic content, leveraging a database containing millions of hash values or digital fingerprints. "With nearly 100 million image hashes in the database, and with another 4 million added per week, if a computer contains pornography, SurfRecon will find it," said Andrew Brandt, SurfRecon's director of business development.

Each hash value in the database is the equivalent of a digital fingerprint, which uniquely identifies an image. SurfRecon uses "digital fingerprints" to determine the exact nature of any image that it discovers on a computer system. It can then pre-categorize the images, making it easier for individuals to view the contents of a computer system.

SurfRecon is available in three editions: Home Edition ($99.95), Business Edition ($499.95), and Elite Edition ($499.95), which is for law enforcement only.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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