Anyone with experiance in making MS Exchange work with SpamAssassin without having a Linux Box on hand?
September 20, 2007 1:39 PM   Subscribe

I work at a small company with an Exchange server. We need OK spam protection. In an effort to move them to a more FOSS workcycle, I'm advocating SpamAssassin. Basically, I need it to work in our Windows Environment.

We currently run NO Linux boxes, and while we're not at all against virtualization (in fact I'm pushing for us to get a copy of VMWare Workstation for our beefy new server), it needs to be simple. I tried downloading the Embeded version of Damn Small Linux, but it is a pain to get it so it can save (as near as I can tell), so that's a no go. Any other ideas? I'd run it on Windows but the walk through confuses me (even the easy one). Again, I'm not against Linux, but it has to be easy (preferably drop in). Has anyone used Spam Vigilante? Is it simple (and by simple, I mean assume I'm an idiot :D)? Oh, and does it work with Exchange (I don't see it mentioned but maybe I'm blind)?

Ok, thanks a lot in advance! I really appricate your feedback!
posted by TrueVox to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
If you're going to run VMWare, might I suggest running the free VMWare server? You can run the console from any remote computer to configure the virtual machines.

I've run SpamAssassin on Linux servers running Postfix, but it wasn't necessarily the easiest setup. There could be easier setups out there.

You could install VMWare server, and download a virtual appliance that's already setup for handling spam such as :
this one that I've never tried or know anything about, so I can't endorse it. If you just want to try it, you can always download the VMWare Player.
posted by stovenator at 2:09 PM on September 20, 2007

I'm using MX Logic's hosted spam filtering for my office. It's been working really, really well - my favorite part is the really easy-to-use quarantine system, which lets users view and release their own quarantined mail. I've had some 30 managers on it for about a year now, and I think I've fielded 2 support calls. Costs something like $2/month/user, and it's worth every cent to me.
posted by pocams at 2:27 PM on September 20, 2007

Ok dumb things first:

- Running Exchange 2003? Upgrade it to SP2. Then set your connection filters to check blacklists. That's about 65% effective.
- Set the Exchange server to refuse any mail for senders not in the directory. Exposes you slightly to a dictionary attack threat but dramatically drops the amount of spam.

Make sure users have private-facing and public-facing email addresses and set up additional mailboxes if they need mail for REALLY public ("") addresses. Set those mailboxes as shared and don't assign those addresses to individual user accounts.

NOW you can talk about third-party antispam software. See what measures you can take on the server first, then take third party measures as needed.
posted by disclaimer at 2:38 PM on September 20, 2007

Not on the question, but if you're on a server, don't use VMware workstation. Get Server (free) or the ESX starter kit.
posted by GuyZero at 3:29 PM on September 20, 2007

To follow on from disclaimer, if you install SP2 for Exchange 2003, you can use the Intelligent Message Filter. It's not as flexible as SpamAssassin (all incoming email is given a score of 0 to 9, set thresholds for putting email into user's Junk E-mail folders and for Refuse/Delete/Archive emails), but once you set it up, it's quite effective and the definitions get updated through Windows Update.
posted by bruzie at 2:52 AM on September 21, 2007

Response by poster: *Sigh* I wish we were modern enough to be using Exchange 2003 for our email server. Sadly... not.

Keep 'em coming though! It's all good suggestions!
posted by TrueVox at 5:36 AM on September 21, 2007

Before my company migrated to Postini, we used ASSP. It's free, easy to install on Windows, actively developed, and did a pretty good job for our small/medium level of spam.
posted by junesix at 12:25 PM on September 21, 2007

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