mailscanner behind a smtpd frontend

Alex Neuman van der Hans alex at
Mon Feb 13 13:34:31 GMT 2006

Glenn Steen wrote:
> Quite true Alex, forgive me for the sloppy last sentence.
> Actually, you can set up a "red box" like an ordinary (meaning
> *normal*) firewall too... Really no need to use 'em like anything
> else.
True... More and more I find such dumbed down red boxes, doing for $10k 
what can be done for a couple of dozen dollars of commodity (or even 
used) hardware. Even so, the red boxes will occasionally hiccup - or 
completely die on you, requiring tedious reloading of software and 
rules. The sysadmins can't work up the nerve to come up to the PHB and 
tell him that red box his golf buddies told him about is just an 
overpriced and overmarketed piece of ... equipment that provides a 
function that could have been demonstrably better performed at a lower cost.

That's one of my pet peeves. The other one that comes up a lot is the 
fact that most of those same sysadmins will buy these "transparent 
proxy" boxes that come with one or more forms of "antivirus", for 
e-mail/web/etc. - instead of a properly configured box with MailScanner 
+ squid + clamav + squidclamav + etc.. These are the same sysadmins that 
call you for help 6 months later when their entire network became a 
botnet after becoming infected with spyware (AV vendor says "it's not a 
virus, so why do I care"), or when they find they can't send email out 
because they've wound up on an RBL because their network is an unwitting 
spam source, or to find where and how the keylogger got installed on the 
PHB's machine, or to see if there's anything we can do to get his 
ebay/bank/email password back after someone stole it because they 
trusted an overpriced "commercial" offering they'd heard of instead of a 
system of tools that are known to work better, faster and more efficiently.

I think I'd better go back to work; I haven't even had my first cup of 
coffee and I'm already ranting... can't imagine what I'll be like around 
noon after my 4th... ;)


Alex Neuman van der Hans
N&K Technology Consultants
Tel. +507 214-9002 -

More information about the MailScanner mailing list