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MSUNAG  December 2003

MSUNAG December 2003

Subject:

Re: virus and spam filtering on mail.msu.edu

From:

Peter Cole <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Peter Cole <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 1 Dec 2003 16:15:08 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (69 lines)

Taken from project.mail.msu.edu

Virus Blocking
Any message containing a virus will be rejected and an error returned.
Viruses pose several threats to user data, server stability, and to the
network as a whole and therefore, we have decided to make virus blocking
non-optional. An added bonus of this decision is that viruses will be
prevented from spreading from mail.msu.edu users' systems. Our weapon of
choice in this matter is Clam-AV. Although this is an open source
project and run by volunteers, we have seen evidence that it catches
more viruses than some commercial anti-virus software. Even so, we will
continue to investigate commercial products for possible future use.
WARNING: Viruses are not limited to email. You still need anti-virus
software on your computer.

Spam Filtering
Users will have the option of filtering spam from mail delivered to (not
forwarded from) an msu.edu address. Since the definition of spam is
subjective, filtering will be optional. We will be providing
SpamAssassin for this purpose, another open source product.

Mail Filtering
In addition to spam filters, we are also adding a general purpose mail
filter. This adds the ability to reject mail from specific users or
systems, to sort and deliver mail to special folders, and auto-reply
vacation messages.

     - Peter Cole
       IT Administration
       Michigan State University Press
       [log in to unmask]
       517.355.9543 x106

-----Original Message-----
From: MSU Network Administrators Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of John Gorentz
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 3:34 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: virus and spam filtering on mail.msu.edu

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.

John Gorentz
W.K. Kellogg Biological Station

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