Another call for improvements

Ken A ka at
Wed Jul 19 18:12:07 IST 2006

Stephen Swaney wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: mailscanner-bounces at [mailto:mailscanner-
>> bounces at] On Behalf Of Ken A
>> Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 11:56 AM
>> To: MailScanner discussion
>> Subject: Re: Another call for improvements
>> Julian Field wrote:
>>> I misunderstood your requirements. Currently I cannot do different sets
>>> of SA rule scores for different people. Sorry.
>>> All the SA calls are done as the same user (the "Run As User" user).
>>> Doing this any other way would slow things down too much, and this is a
>>> rare requirement.
>> Okay, that makes sense. It was just a thought for a possible future
>> improvement, though I do see how it would slow things down.
>> I've seen ISPs who offer customers SpamAssassin web interfaces with
>> checkboxes to activate/deactivate groups of rules, some individual
>> rules, dnsrbls, etc. It's always about features and ease of use. End
>> users don't care about speed issues on the server side... That's our
>> problem! :-)
>> Thanks,
>> Ken A
>> Pacific.Net
> We have added this feature to DefenderMX, our Commercial implementation of
> MailScanner and it's far from trivial to implement. 
> You first need to provide an authentication methodology to validate the
> users and since MailScanner can scan email for multiple domains, the
> validation method specified may vary for different domains. Also you don't
> want to create a process where the administrator of each domain needs to
> maintain the state of user accounts on the gateway. When a user is added on
> a mail hub, they should be able to access their settings and quarantine
> directly on the Gateway(s) simply by logging into the web interface using
> their email address and mail hub password. 
> The next step is to setup a hierarchy for checking spam scores, white lists
> and black lists. The order in which lists and settings should be examined
> and applied is:
> 	User preferences / lists
> Then
> 	Domain preferences / lists
> Then
> 	Site preferences / lists
> You also need to provide a mechanism that allows users and domain
> administrators to access only their messages and settings.
> Hopefully you can understand why I say this is not trivial to implement and
> it does slow things down a bit. We also have the luxury of only supporting
> one Operating system and database. This would be very difficult to build
> into MailScanner given the wide range of platforms that Julian supports.
> We have all of these features working in the current version of DefenderMX
> but there is still one missing piece that we believe we will be able to
> implement in the next version of DefenderMX. This is the ability to apply
> the correct User preferences and quarantine rules to all the email destined
> for a specific user including their aliases. Also not trivial to implement
> if you want to support different back end mail hubs and not manually
> maintain user state on the gateway :)

Those aliases are a bear, since they normally get resolved last!

> I hope this puts the "Feature Request" into perspective,

It does indeed, and more, but I just want to pass MailScanner a username 
that it passes to Mail::SpamAssassin as SpamAssassin's 'userprefs_file'.

I have the luxury of only having to design a system that works here. I 
already have the user auth stuff and web front end for white/blacklists 
& opt-outs with backend in mysql, and various other mail related 
functions (vacation messages, etc). This would just be an addition to an 
existing set of tools.

Ken A

> Steve
> Stephen Swaney
> Fort Systems Ltd.
> stephen.swaney at

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