University of Vermont

Information Technology

E-Mail Virus Scanning at UVM

E-Mail Virus Scanning at UVM

Email virus scanning will protect your email and help stop viruses from infecting your computer.

Please note that email virus scanning is only a preventative measure. You are still responsible for protecting your computer, by maintaining anti-virus software, keeping your computer's software up-to-date, and being cautious about websites, email, and other messages you receive from unfamiliar sources. See ETS's antivirus page for more information.

UVM has deployed central email virus scanning for email destined to most UVM email address, including username@uvm.edu, first.last@uvm.edu, and various departmental email servers that ETS has partnered with.

All email is sent through the email virus gateway automatically now, and any attachments that are found to contain viruses are deleted.

As of the writing of this document, our system detects and cleans about 11,000 virus-laden emails per day, on the average. During new virus breakouts and "epidemics", this number can easily quadruple.

There are two virus-scanning mail gateways at UVM, named "groundhog" and "woodchuck". These machines use Sophos's PureMessage product.

Each machine updates its virus definitions hourly. It scans the body of the message and all attachments for viruses and worms. If an attachment is compressed or "archived", as in the popular ZIP format, the archive is opened and its contents are scanned. If the archive is encrypted, corrupt, or cannot be opened for some other reason, it is discarded. Certain dangerous types of attachments, such as .EXE, .PIF, .COM, .SCR, .CHM, .INF, .HTA, .MSI, .OCX, and many other types of files, are dropped by these servers. A full list of file types is available here.

If you wish to send one of these types of files to someone at UVM or elsewhere, you can use our File Transfer Application to send it.

Our central email cluster, where all the email is stored and accessed from, is running Linux and sendmail. Its name is penguin.uvm.edu, with many aliases, including imap.uvm.edu, and webmail.uvm.edu. It's also known as uvm.edu and zoo.uvm.edu for mail delivery. (Note that email addresses in the form of netid@zoo.uvm.edu are being phased out - instead, use netid@uvm.edu or first.last@uvm.edu.)

In addition, we've deployed an outgoing SMTP relay to improve speed and allow all internal mail, destined for internal uvm.edu addresses to be routed through the virus gateway as well. This machine is also running Linux and sendmail. Its functional name is smtp.uvm.edu.

Show me how email flows at UVM. (PDF)

Show me how email flows at UVM. (PNG)

The recipient of an infected email will receive a message stating that the message contained a virus. Here is an example of what they'll see.

You may now choose to prevent messages with the [VIRUS REMOVED] heading from being delivered to your mailbox. To enable this feature visit the Email Filters section of the UVM Account Management page.

Questions? Please contact the ETS Helpline.

Last modified June 05 2013 04:09 PM

Contact UVM © 2014 The University of Vermont - Burlington, VT 05405 - (802) 656-3131