Instant Help!

  1. My Mail was Rejected by MailScanner!!! Click for FAQ on this topic
  2. E-mail Fraud - Phishing Click for info and examples

General Support Categories

Professional and Commercial Support

There is a company, Fortress Systems Ltd, which was created specifically to provide top quality commercial support for MailScanner and associated applications. They can even run your entire MailScanner system remotely for you, taking all the administrative load off you.

There are also a host of other companies around the world who can provide MailScanner-based services to you on a commercial basis.

Mailing Lists

There are 2 mailing lists for MailScanner users.

The first is an "announcements only" list which I strongly advise you to subscribe to. This is where all announcements will be made of new versions of MailScann er and associated software such as MailWatch and MailScanner-MRTG. You can subscribe to this list by visiting .

The second list is a discussion list where all new features, configuration issues and so on are discussed. This is where to go if you need help. The developers also keep an eye on it, so it's a good place to suggest new features, problems, questions, etc. But please remember there are limits to the time that can be spent on unpaid support. If you need more specific help, please read about our professional support options. You can access this list on the web, or you can subscribe by visiting .

Before posting to the list, please read this guide to asking smart questions and search the list archive.

You can search the main mailing list very easily.

Community Live Support

For immediate help, you can contact other MailScanner users via IRC, using the server on the channel #mailscanner. If you are using IPv6, the server is You can connect immediately without having to install any IRC software on your computer.

My Mail was Rejected by MailScanner!!!

Why are you spamming me?

Many people see e-mails 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 the MailScanner development team is in any way associated with the e-mail. It simply means that your Internet Provider, or the Internet Provider of the sender, is using the MailScanner software to scan for viruses and spam.

The MailScanner development team do not send any unsolicited e-mail.

Who altered my e-mail?

Your system administrator or Internet Provider has installed MailScanner, which modified your e-mail. The MailScanner development team are not responsible for things people do with MailScanner. If you do not like the way your mail is processed, please do not complain to us. It will do no good.

Why was the e-mail altered?

Your system administrator or Internet Provider has implemented a policy defining certain unacceptable content in e-mail messages. This may include banning viruses, spam or certain filenames. Each incoming or outgoing e-mail is scanned for unacceptable content, and some of it may therefore be removed or altered.

If you have concerns about the scanning policy, please talk to your system administrator or the support staff at your Internet Provider.

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

MailScanner was released long before viruses started forging the addresses on mail they sent, and some people are still running MailScanner installations from back then. There was also a transient period in which only a few viruses forged the addresses, and most of them did not. Any recent or well-maintained copy of MailScanner will not send those messages out by default, as it knows that is the sensible thing to do these days. But old or poorly-maintained copies of MailScanner may still be using the default settings that were sensible at the time they were installed, which is often several years ago.

I entirely agree with you on this matter, these host servers should not be sending out these warnings these days. But if the site administrators have neither the inclination or the time to maintain their installation correctly, or even just to update it to a more recent release, there is little that can be done. There is no central list of people using MailScanner, so it is impossible to contact them all directly. Anyone who takes an active interest in MailScanner will know all about this problem, but unfortunately there are sites who do not.

As for it advertising MailScanner, that is simply not the case as the software is totally free and therefore there is no "product" to sell.

Who is MailScanner and why are you mucking with my mail?

MailScanner is a software project run by the University of Southampton. It is a popular e-mail scanner which many companies and Internet Providers use to scan mail. It is that program which sent you to this web site.

Remember, although we wrote the program, it is your system administrator who chose to use it, and we have no control over the way it is used or configured.


The original version of this page came from Many thanks to them for writing it and not getting too upset when I copied it!

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E-mail Fraud - Phishing

Update January 2009: This is a new attack called "Spear Phishing" which involves scammers sending you an email message asking for your email username and password, saying that your account will be suspended if you don't give it to them. I have developed a very good technique against this attack, and can pretty much solve it for you. That is all documented on my personal website, and there is a simple script you can download to remove this problem.

"Phishing" is the term coined by hackers for attempting to lure personal information out of people by pursuading them to visit web sites that look like genuine bank, credit card, or payment sites, when they are actually sophisticated fakes of those sites.

These attempts at fraud appear as email messages sent to you asking for some sort of personal information. Usually this is information about your address or credit card information, or your cash card PIN number. It could also involve you typing in some sort of password to "gain access" to a security site where they want you to type in more information.

You should treat any email with suspicion when it takes you to a site asking for this information. If it is from your credit card company, why do they need your credit card number and expiry date? Don't then already have this? Likewise, why would your bank need your PIN number, they already know it. Just as if someone walked up to you in the street and asked you for your PIN number, treat emails apparently from your bank with the same care.

To be safe, don't click on any links in email messages purporting to be from your bank. Type them in by hand, just as you would when normally doing banking over the internet. This ensures you go to the site you typed in, not some site pretending to be your bank. Walking down the street, would you happily walk into a new shop which happens to have your bank name printed over the door, and give the staff your PIN number?

Internet banking is still very safe. But be careful, don't give your personal information to anyone who asks, even if they do look like your bank.

MailScanner can help protect you and your users, staff and customers from fraud attempts by detecting links to fake web sites, and highlighting these in the messages you deliver to your users.

An example of the alert is here, where the thieves site "" is pretending to be "":
To access your account, click on MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt by "" claiming to be

Screenshots showing trapped messages are below.

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MailScanner would like to thank the following for their support:


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Copyright 2006 © Julian Field/Mailscanner