Anti-Spam & Anti-Virus Filters

In the last years the SPAM phenomenon (Unsolicited Bulk & Commercial E-mails) has grown exponentially. Today the SPAM is over the 50% of the total e-mail traffic. In order not to waste time discarding UCE and IBE e-mails, complex filters are required for the incoming e-mail traffic. SISSA has two filters for the incoming e-mails.

SafeMail

The first filter for the incoming e-mail is SafeMail, a commercial product of Spin (http://www.spin.it). This software is installed on the incoming e-mail gateway server. This machine is the Mail Exchanger (MX) for the domain sissa.it. This filter is applied by default to all the incoming mail for the domains sissa.it.

This software use some RBLs (Real-time Spam Black Lists) to reject SPAM. When SafeMail consider an e-mail as a sure spam, the connection is rejected and it sends an error message to the sender. If it is a real person, he/she can take an action to send again the e-mail. See the page: http://www.spin.it/spam/spam_filters.php3#eng for information about Spin's anti-spam filters.

More information about Spin SafeMail are available at address http://www.spin.it/spam/#eng.

SISSA mail servers use an antivirus to scan all incoming/outgoing e-mail messages. This includes scanning e-mail bodies and attachments against known virus signatures as well as blocking certain file types and names (file extensions). The software will also scan compressed attachements. However it should be stressed that nobody should rely on the mail server filtering for complete virus protection. The main purposes of filtering on the mail servers are to minimise the possibility of a serious outbreak of a particular virus, provide protection against new unrecognised viruses and act as a secondary mechanism for detecting infected systems. It is essential, therefore, that you continue to treat ALL e-mail attachments with caution.


Certain file types and extensions pose a significant risk to windows machines, as they are executable by default. Most viruses are spread through e-mail with one of these executable attachements. As such, ITCS has decided to block the following extensions:

ExtensionGeneric description
batBatch Processing
chmHTML Help Compiled Help File
cmd1st Reader External Command Menu
comCommand / Common Object Module / DOS or CP/M Executable
exeExecutable File
hlpWindows Help File
htaHypertext Application
ins1st Reader Install Script / InstallShield Script
jsJavaScript Source Code
lnkWindows Shortcut File
mscMicrosoft Management Console Snap-in Control File
msiWindows Installer File
pifWindows Program Information File
regRegistry Data File
scrScript / Windows Screen Saver
sctWindows Script Component
shbWindows Shortcut into a Document
shsShell Scrap Object File
vbsVBScript Script File
wscWindows Script Component
wsfWindows Script File
wshWindows Script Host Settings File

This means you will not be allowed to send/receive any file whose filename has a banned extension. Where you have a genuine need to send a program as an attachment then you should enclose it in a .zip or .gz file before attaching it. Windows XP and Mac OS X have this functionality built in. Do not create a self-extracting zip file because that will result in an executable type of file that will also be blocked.

In order to properly receive a program file as an attachment, you will have to ask the sender to enclose the program in a .zip or .gz file before sending.

In both case, remember to DO NOT SET A PASSWORD TO THE ARCHIVE FILE, otherwise the e-mail will be BANNED again.


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