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Offload scanning from internal server?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by spsellars, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. spsellars

    spsellars Member

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    Currently I have my Cpanel servers set up as backup MX agents for my domain. (i.e. if my internal Exchange server goes down the Cpanel server will receive and hold all email until my internal Exchange server is back up).

    What I would like to do if possible is have all email go through the Cpanel server first to get scanned by SpamAssassin and ClamAV, then forwarded to my internal server. (My company is getting over 4000 junk emails a day and it is saturating our T1 line at the office, so I'd prefer to use some of my dedicated servers bandwidth to eliminate the bulk of the trash first.) Is this scenario possible? If so how would I go about setting this up? If I set my Cpanel server with a higher priority MX record how can I get it to transfer to my internal server? And can I still retain backup server funcionality with this setup?

    I apologize if this is obviously not feasable and I'm wasting space and time.

    Thanks in advance for any help, the members of this board have been an indispensible source of help in the past!

    Cheers!
     
  2. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    It's possible, but there are difficulties.

    One stumbling block is the MX records. Although email should go to the lowest scoring MX record, it doesn't always. Some SMTP servers don't comply and will simply send it to the first one it finds in the DNS query - these are almost always the spammers, because the SMTP bots they use aren't going to be RFC compliant ;)

    If it did work correctly, then something like MailScanner would help because the email arriving at the cPanel server would be processed and scanned for spam and then what filters through would be placed in the queue. The next problem would then be to force the email from the server to the higher MX record - not sure how you could do that. However, because of what I've mentioned above, that solution won't really work.

    Probably your best bet would be to solely point your MX record to your cPanel server and create a full blown cPanel account for it with a single POP3 account with the catchall alias (Default Address) pointing to it.

    Then have a utility that frequently retrieves email from the POP3 mailbox and explodes it onto your Exchange server for you. This way your mail gets scanned on the cPanel server and then is retrieved into your exchange's SMTP server. One such utility which you'd run on the windows box to do this is EFS:
    http://www.chimera.co.nz/

    Unfortunately, this doesn't maintain backup MX, but if you had a second server that could be used as the higher MX for the main cPanel server to achieve this.
     

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