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Anti Spam Solutions

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  • Anti Spam Solutions

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this but I am running Exchange 2010. Until the beginning of this year we were running Exchange 5.5 and we also had Clearswift Mailsweeper 4.3 in our DMZ acting as an SMTP gateway to stop spam.

    As you can imagine it's not very good with a lot more spam getting through than was being caught. The first part of our upgrade was to get rid of Exchange 5.5 and replace it with Exchange 2010. We did this a few months ago and I had a play around with the AntiSpam features in Exchange, but I couldn't get it working very well, so all the filters are currently set to disabled.

    The plan was always to get an anti spam system to replace MailSweeper in the DMZ and I had SpamAssassin in mind as a couple of colleagues from a previous company swore by it and it's free. Now I'm looking at SpamAssassin and it seems that it is no longer being developed and links to most documentation and 3rd party add ons are all broken. I can't really make head nor tail of it especially as it is designed for Linux and I need the Windows version of it.

    Can anyone recommend some software I can try out, ideally it needs to be open source or cheap as possible as we are only a small company and are struggling with our budget a bit.

    I'm being put under a bit of pressure to get a solution put in place with the next 10 days or so as MailSweeper doesn't have a whitelist and important legitimate mails are getting stuck and only I as an administrator can go in and release them. Any help appreciated oh and can someone tell me why my pararaphs have been merged into one big one
    Last edited by Sembee; 27th May 2011, 08:32.

  • #2
    Re: Anti Spam Solutions

    Huh OK...
    We use actually 3 products...

    1. Cloudmark server edition (partially AV & full AS)
    2. ESET mail security for MS Exchange (AV&AS)
    3. Exchange Antispam

    This works great. Also ESET mail security provides us with greylisting option which Exchange does not...
    If you have spam problems try CLOUDMARK for 15 days trial, I guarantee you that you won`t be dissapointed...

    On our second site we use MPP on Linux:
    This is gateway with custom scanners... We loaded ESET, ClamAV, Cloudmark and Spamassassin + balcklists and greylist.
    No spam

    Hope it helps a bit


    • #3
      Re: Anti Spam Solutions

      AFAIK there isn't a Windows version of SpamAssasin. It's designed to run on Linux distributions. Either way if you are struggling with it and aren't to ofay with Linux i wouldn't recommend it purely from a support perspective.
      Try VamSoft. Excellent product with a high level of granularity. And most of all relatively cheap starting at around 170 per server. There's a time limited trial for it on their site. Id suggest installing it on a separate server from your mail servers so it can act as a dedicated gateway.


      • #4
        Re: Anti Spam Solutions

        The Exchange 2010 filters work quite well.
        As a start, you should enable recipient validation, which will ensure the server drops a lot messages that are addressed to non-existent users. That can knock out a large bulk of the junk email.

        The main Antispam filter to use in Exchange 2010 is the Content Filtering setting. The others can largely be ignored. Tons of content on Technet about setting it up, configuring a Quarantine mailbox and how to use the Quarantine with Outlook.

        Vamsoft ORF is very good in many locations I have tried it, but not all antispam solutions work for everyone. I am not aware of anything free on Windows that works well. I tend to avoid the products from the AV vendors. You would need to evaluate a number of products to see what works for you. Don't just choose something purely on the price, because an AV product that doesn't work well for your email profile and therefore blocks things it shouldn't do is as bad as no product at all.

        If you want to use SpamAssassin, then getting a precreated Appliance is the best option. These would usually run under VMWARE or similar in a virtual machine. Do ensure that you get one that can do recipient validation, as that feature alone can reduce the level of email the appliance has to process significantly.

        Simon Butler
        Exchange MVP

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        Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.


        • #5
          Re: Anti Spam Solutions

          We proxy all our mail hosting customers through a Centos box running ASSP. That way we only have one spam setup to worry about and they all benefit from the rule training.

          There are other companies that provide an external relay other than us such as Trend and Postini. We haven't used them though.