> I heard indirectly that virus and spam filtering are coming to mail.msu.edu, and sooner rather than later. Is this something that was announced at the latest MSUNAG meeting?
> Assuming this is true, is there any information on how spam filtering is going to be done?
> A few months ago I started doing virus and spam filtering on our own mail server. (We're giving people the option of giving permission to filter incoming mail or else finding somebody else's mail service to use.) The virus filtering is going fine. The spam filtering is going about as well as I expected.
> I'm using the blacklist services that are pre-configured by Ipswitch (the maker of our mail system). That catches a lot of spam, and I haven't had so much as one false positive reported to me. At first those filters seemed to catch about a third to a half of the spam. Now it's an ever-smaller fraction.
> I might start doing some "statistical filtering." But I might not do it if mail.msu.edu is going to provide better quality spam filtering than I could ever hope to do myself. When we decided to implement virus and spam filtering late last summer, we justified the effort in part because it didn't seem like mail.msu.edu would be doing it in the near future. If this is not true, I may adjust my own activities accordingly.
I'll pass on what I heard, and try to keep it to the facts as I know them.
The antispam and antivirus filtering are being implemented on the new mail
system, mail.msu.edu. Users who are still on pilot.msu.edu will not benefit
from the filtering, and we would encourage users to switch from Pilot to Mail.
The antivirus filtering will reject messages immediately, as they are being
received by the mail.msu.edu servers, i.e., if a virus signature is detected
during message receipt, an SMTP error code will be returned to the sending
system. This is being done in this fashion to ensure that postmaster and
other similar mail administration accounts are not overrun with bounced
The antispam filtering, on the other hand, is done as the message is delivered
to the inbox for a given mail.msu.edu user. Plans are to use "Spam Assassin",
and to place the disposition of spam messages under the user's control. I don't
know if things are far enough along to describe the user control and disposition
options any better. One thing to note is that the spam filtering will NOT be
effective for any user who sets an e-mail forwarding address on the mail.msu.edu
Assuming you're concerned primarily with users who forward to
[log in to unmask], you're not going to get any benefit from the central
anti-spam. You will get partial benefit from the central antivirus, but
only for messages addressed to [log in to unmask] So I think you still need
to plan for your own antivirus and antispam services, given that you run
your own departmental mail server. This will be true for others who run
their own servers.
Doug Nelson [log in to unmask]
Network Manager Ph: (517) 353-2980
Computer Laboratory http://www.msu.edu/~nelson/
Michigan State University