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Querying an outside blacklist

I am running Exchange 2000 on a Windows 2000 server and my users keep getting more and more spam. I am running Symantec Antivirus for Exchange (to block subjects/attachments/general spam/etc.). I'm also blocking the IPs of known spammers on my firewall.

I want to know what I can do (aside from moving to Exchange 2003) to have my Exchange server query an outside blacklist of spammers and open relays, so that I can stop trying to manually block them by IP on the firewall. I have read that this functionality is available using a third-party tool. Do you have any recommendations for software and setup?

What you need to look at is a dedicated spam software solution. Antivirus vendors like Symantec have improved their products to included spam-filtering capabilities. But antispam vendors have the best products. I used iHateSpam from Sunbelt Software when I was running Exchange 2000 and I really liked it. You might also want to check out a managed service like Postini, which has been getting a lot of attention lately.

I'm not discouraging you from using blocklists, but I wouldn't depend on them. It is fairly easy for spammers to work around them by spoofing domains and IP addresses. A good site I would recommend looking at is SPAMHAUS.


MEMBER FEEDBACK TO THIS ASK THE EXPERT Q&A:

Richard is mistaken (out of date) about Symantec's antispam solution. It is called Symantec Premium Antispam, and is derived from their BrightMail acquisition last year. It works in conjunction with Symantec Mail Security, which the question-asker already has.
—David W.

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Brightmail, even though it is now owned by Symantec and aside from any bias, is still an add-on service that is subscription based and is not included with Symantec Antivirus for Exchange. Please see Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange.
—Richard Luckett, spam and security expert


Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.
Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Learning Center: The spamfighter's toolbox
  • Reference Center: Spam prevention and management
  • Learning Guide: Malware


  • Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting

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