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Spam And Virus Scanning


SPAM (unsolicited commercial email) accounts for 35% of all messages and is rapidly increasing. 1 in 150 messages contains a virus, costing many billions of rands of damage around the world every year. Surveys have shown that removing 1 virus from 1 PC costs over R4000.00. Removing a virus infection from a server costs over R300 000.00.

What is SPAM?

SPAM is the generic term for any unnecessary, unsolicited and irrelevant communications to email addresses. These might include chain letters, get rich quick schemes and the like.

What software do we use?

MailScanner. MailScanner is already a highly-respected open source email security system, with more users than AOL and Hotmail combined. It processes 500 million email messages every day, removing 2 million viruses and identifying 75 million SPAM messages. MailScanner is used at 20,000 sites around the world protecting top government departments, commercial corporations and educational institutions. It is a standard feature of many ISP's as virus protection and SPAM filtering are now essential requirements for most users.

What email does MailScanner scan?

MailScanner scans all email for viruses, SPAM and attacks against security vulnerabilities. It is not tied to any particular virus scanner. Its role is a major part in the security of a network, and so it must act as a trusted service.

How does virus scanning work?

To eliminate any chance of delivering a message containing an infection that failed to be disinfected, the disinfection process scans, then disinfects, then scans again. Only attachments that passed the virus scanner in the last scan are forwarded to the original recipient.

How does SPAM detection work?

Every incoming message is checked to see if it was sent by either an open mail relay, a known SPAM source, or was sent directly from a known dial-up line without passing through a proper mail server. This is all done using publicly available on-line databases. If, as a result of these checks, a message looks suspicious, it is marked by the addition of an extra header listing the databases where it was found and the message is then discarded.

What happen when a legitimate user send email via mail server marked as a SPAM source?

In the case of a regular correspondent whose mail server is marked as a source of SPAM, they will have to get in contact with their local mail server administrator, to have the server removed from the database. The alternative for the regular correspondent is to make use of an alternative mail server.

Why are you SPAMming me?

Many people see emails that say that MailScanner has rejected their message as it was SPAM, or else get reports about them having sent viruses. That does not mean that webonline is in any way associated with the email. It simply means that we are using the MailScanner software to scan for viruses and SPAM.

Why was the email altered?

We have implemented a policy defining certain unacceptable content in email messages. This may include banning viruses, SPAM or certain filenames. Each incoming or outgoing email is scanned for unacceptable content, and some of it may therefore be removed or altered.

I didn't send a virus -- why does your software claim I did?

Many viruses forge the "From" address. Any recent version of MailScanner knows about the viruses that do this, and does not warn the sender in these cases. However due to the nature of viruses that constantly change, we may in form you that you are sending viruses, while the virus is actually forging the "From" address.

What is webonline's scanning policy?

Please click here to see our scanning policy.