rant about anti-virus and spam, MS flamed

David H. dh at UPTIME.AT
Wed Jan 28 22:36:18 GMT 2004

Hash: RIPEMD160

Matt Kettler wrote:
> If nothing else, you should walk away from that article realizing that it
> is an absolute shame that MailScanner even has the feature at all. Default
> disabled or not, it's a bad idea.
Says who? You? Or the other thousand people that have formed an opinion.
I am one of those long time Administrators that is edcuated enough to
know when to use a feature and when not to use a feature. Just because a
piece of software offers something does not mean that I have to use it.
> It's like having a rifle option on a can opener... Why would you ever have
> such a dangerous mis-feature which could injure the operator and
> bystanders?
I do not quite understand how that comparison works. The can opener's
primary feature would be to open the can without destroying its
contents. Opening it with the gun options would be the "blast the can to
bits" option then? I will agree that MailScanner could cause a lot of
trouble to others systems when the bounce option is used falsely but it
would most likely not blow itself up.

> Just because some crazy lunatic wants to be able to open one
> can and shoot a hole through another at the same time doesn't mean it's a
> good idea to manufacture such a product. Others who need can openers might
> play with it without knowing what it does.
> Sure, some under-educated system admins might want this feature, but let's
> face it, they only want it because they are completely clueless about the
> implications. It's _ALWAYS_ a bad idea to notify senders of a real virus
> infection in email, without exception.

In my humble opinion it is _ALWAYS_ a bad idea to rant and rave about
possible troublsome implementations in software the moment those
"features" are misused by people who should know better. I am glad that
there was such a feature, yet the current development on the Internet's
global community, the Trends in Virus writing and maybe spamming seem to
make it necessary to remove this option as popularity of MailScanner
grows. It was never wrong to include it, I used it in the early days and
it helped many, because I do keep close track of what my Mail Server
does or not does. That said, I am quiet now as I do seem to have a
strong opinion on it.

Good night :)

- -d

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