unable to process certain attachments

Julian Field MailScanner at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Tue May 6 16:47:13 IST 2008

Hash: SHA1

Dominik L. Borkowski wrote:
> Hello,
> Recently we've encountered a few e-mails which were 'stuck' in our queues for 
> a few days, mailscanner was never able to process them fully. Below you'll 
> find a description of one of those e-mails. We would appreciate any insight 
> as to how we may be able to fix this problem.
> Each message would have the innocent log error (from address hashed out):
> May  2 12:49:03 almaren MailScanner[21605]: Message m41GREcK020606 from
> (XXXXX at XXXXXX.XXX) to vbi.vt.edu is too big for spam 
> checks (4715006 > 2000000 bytes)
> The issue was that it would never go through, and mailscanner would attempt to 
> process it for days, every few minutes. When running Mailscanner with --debug 
> option, we got this error:
> Negative length at /opt/MailScanner/lib/MailScanner/Message.pm line 3168
Download the very latest version of 4.69.9-3 and you will find this 
problem has gone away.

> I guess we have few questions:
> 1) How come there are so many additional files in the mailscanner's spool dir
A docx file is actually a zip file containing all the bits that make up 
the document, so MailScanner has unpacked it like any other zip file. 
All the OleNative files are the embedded files extracted from the OLE 
document structure which can be used in there.
> 2) What can we do to replicate the expansion of all the attachments
You can't, there aren't any command-line utilities that do all the work 
of MailScanner in this extraction. You can see a lot of it with "unzip 
- -v blahblah.docx".
> 3) What causes mailscanner to break in Message.pm
A bug which I have already fixed.
> Our setup includes:
> - MailScanner 4.69.8
> - Sendmail 8.13.7
> - tnef 1.4.3
> - perl 5.8.5 (modules up to date)
> Any hints/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


- -- 
Julian Field MEng CITP CEng
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