FW: Advantages to using Mailscanner for Spam Filtering only !? [WasRe: MailScanner with Trend Micro]

S Mohan smohan at vsnl.com
Thu Jun 19 04:17:43 IST 2003

Yes. A committed and excellent software architect as project/product
owner that makes a difference in quality and response.

Philosophically, MS does not try to reinvent the wheel but complements
what a MTA does. Sane and good strategy (Most commercial products use a
SMTP gateway - at least Trend Micro does). For this reason, MailScanner
can run on the same system as the MTA without change of service ports
which is required for most commercial gateways. This
compartmentalization allows to take advantage of MTA features that best
suits one's need in terms of performance, security etc which would be
difficult to provide in a software that is not core deliverable in long


-----Original Message-----
From: MailScanner mailing list [mailto:MAILSCANNER at JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On
Behalf Of Christopher Albert
Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 2:48 AM
Subject: Advantages to using Mailscanner for Spam Filtering only !?
[WasRe: MailScanner with Trend Micro]


>>I am using SpamAssassin with procmail. I don' t think I need
>>MailScanner since SpamAssassin is executed by procmail for every
>>incoming mail and is currently reading user preferences from a SQL
>>database and now recently switched to Trend. /
> I would disagree on several counts:
> 1. MailScanner calling SpamAssassin is much more efficient that
> calling SpamAssassin from procmail 2. MailScanner will protect your
> system and users from many more types of attack than SpamAssassin and
> MicroTrend alone. 3. MailScanner can read SQL preferences from and SQL

> database and look for some very nice enhancements in this area soon.
> 4. MailScanner provides an "attachment" feature which spares your
> users the nasty images and verbiage
I'd like to elaborate on this discussion by generalizing it to the
question of "Why should I use Mailscanner if I just want to filter spam

I ask this question first since I am planning to roll out a site-wide
anti-spam solution for a large university, but the AV is already done at
another tier, so MS's excellent capabilities to integrate multiple AV
products is moot.

Secondly, I've just started a collaborative document in progress at the
Linux Documnentation Project for an Anti-Spam-Howto where I plan to have
a section on site-wide spam filtering where MS will have an important

As far as I can tell, the site-wide solutions for integrating
Spamassassin(SA) on a largish site are
MS, amavisd-new, and spamd, and possibly a milter solution, though I
dont know how the latter extends across MTAs.

Some of the advantages of MS, in addition to the ones Stephen mentioned
above, are

1. MTA agnosticism -- in general software that spans platforms and
applications tends to be more robust. 2. A meta-level of control over
both the MTA and SA (for things like white/black lists and its
extensible rules syntax). 3. Unified logging, including log analysis
tools like the MS-mrtg and Mailwatch projects, in addition to the
possibilities to support even more sophisticated cluster configurations
implied by the move to SQL backend support. 4. The possibility of on the
fly damage control -- even if AV is done at another tier MS allows the
possibility of a second line of defense, perhaps long before an AV
vendor releases a data file update. (Though recent viruses like
polymorphic bugbear-b complicate everyones lives). 5. A large active
community of users, and this excellent mailing list.

Let me know if I have missed anything.


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