A number of people use my mail server to filter their ISP mail. In other words, mail from their ISP is redirected to my server, which then scans (viruses and spam...among other things) then delivers it to a Gray Online mailbox. I'm proud that most of the people using my server have noticed a significant difference between my filtering and most ISP's. Namely, my filters ACTUALLY WORK! Why? Simple - I've been basically a full-time e-mail and Unix administrator for the better part of the last decade. I know e-mail and I've seen the rise of spam and viruses. Consequently I've been able to adapt my filters in small evolutionary steps, rather than having nothing and having to revolutionise my mail systems (like most ISP's seem to have done).
Enough trumpet blowing, the core of my mail system's "brains" comes from one open source package;
- MailScanner written by a guy named Julian Field. MailScanner then plugs into a number of other tools like
However it is ClamAV I'm most impressed with at the moment.
Many people would be aware of the recent "Storm Worm" outbreak that has been hammering the Internet and any unprotected mailboxes. It seems that the humble guys developing this open-source virus scanner have trumped nearly every big player in the commercial virus scanning market and had detection signature distributed almost as soon as the Storm Worm unleashed its fury. Here's a snippet from the ClamAV website:
A huge virus surge of a new Storm Worm variant is flooding email inboxes and evading many antivirus programs. In my tests of 31 programs, only four reported a virus. Postini, an email security company, says that over the last 24 hours it has seen about 55 million virus emails, about 60 times the daily average. [...] At 2:30pm I uploaded the attachment to Virustotal.com, which uses many different antivirus programs to scan uploads. Of 31 programs, only four – ClamAV, eSafe, Kaspersky and Symantec – reported a virus.
You can read the full article over at PC World if you are interested. The main reason for making a note about this achievement is two fold:
- I wanted to inform my users that they have world-class mail filtering protecting them from the latest nasty floating around, and
- I really think the ClamAV team deserves some coverage for their outstanding effort both with this most recent worm threat and for all their hard work over the years to get ClamAV where it is today! Well done!