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Exchange 2003 Spam Filtering Options

By Andrew06 ·
Hi guys,

I've got a client who recently had an Exchange 2003 server installed at their office. It broke, so I was called in to clean up the mess. Upon inspection, I saw that of the 3 or 4 users of the system, they were receiving around 100-150 spam emails a day.

I asked them why they hadn't done anything, and they just shrugged. So I setup filtering based on RBL's and setup JEP(S) greylisting.

In the last month, they've had about 3500 spams blocked, but about 200 have been let through, and about 20/30 of those are legit.

My question to you guys (the community) is;

What can I do from within Exchange 2003 to help combat more of this spam? My clients don't really want to spend any more money on a solution, but they want to improve it as much as they can without having to get a third party app like LanGuard Exchange, etc.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated! :)



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Exchange 2003 has the Intelligent Message Filter

by AV . In reply to Exchange 2003 Spam Filter ...

It has limitations though, such as no domain name whitelist or keyword whitelist. You can whitelist by IP address, but that isn't as effective as a domain name whitelist and it doesn't work if you have mail gateway receiving the mail instead of the Exchange server.

IMF does give spam an SCL rating (spam confidence level), but you get quite a few false-positives if you set the threshold too low.

I recently added on a package to my server called SecurExchange from NEMX that gives you whitelist capabilities in Exchange and I'm happy with it. Its cheap too - about $300 (US).

Don't forget to tell your clients that someone has to sit there and go through all the trapped spam. There might be one or two important emails trapped. RBLS blacklist valid email addresses as well as spam. You also need a search tool like Textpad so you can look for email content if you have to.

Just the time that someone has to spend going through the spam justifies the purchase of a 3rd-party solution in my book. I don't know what size company your working for, but you can't control spam the right way with just Exchange.

Another thing you can utilize is the junk mail filter in Outlook (if you use Outlook). Personally, I don't like that solution because it takes time for people to manage the spam they get when its really more cost effective to keep it more centralized.

If you do convince your clients they need a more layered approach to spam, check out GFI Mail Essentials. Its easy on the pocketbook and can run right on the Exchange server.

Good luck to you!


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Thanks. Would you know....

by Andrew06 In reply to Exchange 2003 has the Int ...

Hey mate. Thanks for the reply! Would you know of any products that aren't subscription based?

The company is <5 employees, but they rely on their emails alot.

I had a chat with my client and he said that he's happy to purchase something, but would prefer to pay something once off and just receive updates, rather than a subscription.

GFI MailEssentials for Exchange/SMTP seems reasonable, but $240(US) a year is a good price too (especially with the storng Aussie dollar )

I'll have a chat with him, but if you could possibly suggest something, I'd be more than happy to hear it!

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For that size

by AV . In reply to Thanks. Would you know... ...

I would probably stick with the SecurExchange IMF and build up the whitelist. There are other capabilities in the software as well. I think its a one time fee of $250 - $300 USD, but check out their website to see if the rules are different where you live.

I like GFI because of the bayesian filter that learns what you consider spam. Its easy to use to. If they don't want to spend the money right now, there is another product that is freeware (the price is right!) and uses bayesian filtering. Its called Spambayes. Here's a link. I used it several years ago on a limited basis and it was a good solution. It is an Outlook add-in, so its not installed on the server. You do have to train it to get the best results. Try it.

It doesn't look like the product has been updated in a couple of years, but its still worth a look.


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by Andrew06 In reply to For that size

Hey mate. Thanks for that! I'll let them know about it and see how they go with it.

Once again, I really appreciate you reply and helping me out!

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