The University of Southampton

MailScanner: E-Mail Gateway Virus+Spam Scanner

Date:
2000-2002
Theme:
Pervasive Computing and Networks
Funding:
JISC

The IAM group within ECS has undertaken a number of JISC/JCAS short studies in systems and networks security related areas. One such study involved an investigation of gateway-based anti-virus protection methods. As the project progressed, it became evident that anti-virus email gateway products were both very expensive (for licences per host within the site) and predominantly Windows-only.

As a result, we developed an open-source e-mail gateway virus scanner and spam detector, MailScanner, designed to run on a platform such as Linux or Solaris, with an open-source email gateway package such as sendmail. MailScanner is free to use, though you will need to have an appropriate licence for a host-based anti-virus package such as Sophos, Norton or F-Secure. The cost of such a licence is typically a few hundred pounds, against many tens of thousands for a site-scope mail gateway product.

MailScanner also has the bonus feature of spam detection, using public open-relay databases and the impressive SpamAssassin open source spam detector package. The IAM group is undertaking work into the intrusiveness of messaging systems, an area in which such technology may have an important role.

Primary investigators

Associated research groups

  • Systems Group
  • Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia Group
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