University of Vermont

Information Technology email filtering moves to Proofpoint

Improved spam filtering

On Thursday morning, 2019-06-20, mail will switch from being filtered by Sophos PureMessage and start being filtered by Proofpoint Protection server.

We have made efforts to replicate the current functionality of Sophos PureMessage in our environment in order to introduce as little disruption into users' mail experience as possible.

As with PureMessage, we have set up filtering to move messages tagged as spam into users "Junk E-Mail" folder, per the user's preferences (configured at )

Here are some of the differences users may notice:

  • Messages tagged as 100% SPAM will have a new subject header: [SPAM - DEFINITE]
  • Messages tagged above 50% likelihood of being SPAM will have a slightly different subject header, with asterisks (*) standing for 10% spamminess
    • PureMessage tagged at 70%:  [SPAM?:##]
    • Proofpoint tagged at 70%:  [SPAM?:*******]
  • Messages identified as "low priority" (e.g. bulk mail, marketing lists) but not spam, will have a new header added: 
    • X-Proofpoint-Tag: lowpriority
  • All messages will have an X-Proofpoint-Spam-Details header which will provide the details of the message's scoring and the most relevant rule that has matched.  This is the same header that appeared during the evaluation.
  • There could be some short mail delays (3-4 minutes) for incoming messages with attachments, which will be run in a sandbox virtual machine in order to check for behaviors identified with malware (unidentified worms, crypto-lockers, and the like.)  This feature is called "Attachment Defense".  The timeout for Attachment Defense is set to 15 minutes.  We've never seen this hit 15 minutes, but it's possible.

If you have questions about this change, please write to or call the UVM Helpline at (802) 656-2604.  If you see false positives (messages tagged as SPAM that shouldn't be), or false negatives (messages that should have been tagged as SPAM), please let the Tech Team know.

Hopefully this will result in a lot less junk in everyone's INBOX.


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