O'Reilly logo

Sendmail, 3rd Edition by Bryan Costales

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Check Headers with Rule Sets

Beginning with V8.10, sendmail provides the ability to screen selected headers with rule sets. This is described in detail in Section 25.5. In this section we show two more techniques for using header checks to reject spam messages:

  • Reject messages that have subjects which indicate that the message contains a virus.

  • Reject messages that have an illegally formed Received: header.

Virus Screening by Subject

Many messages that contain viruses, worms, or Trojan horses have distinctive subject lines, the text of which is usually reported in the news. When a new virus is discovered, it is often quicker to reject messages based on its reported subject line than it is to await the latest update of your favorite virus filter software. But this is only a temporary fix. Because legitimate email will often share the same subjects, it is best to only screen on the Subject: header between the time the virus is detected and announced, and the time your virus screening software is updated.

One way to screen by subject is to create a database of subject lines to reject, and then use that database in a subject checking rule set. Consider the following text file which contains one subject per line. The subject is to the left, the word REJECT is to the right, and the two are separated by one or more tab characters:

I Love You       REJECT
Visit Home Now!  REJECT

If you were to call this file /etc/mail/spamsubjects, you could turn it into a database map with commands like this: ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required