Spam filter for mail coming via second MX record (mail relay server)

Posted on 2006-05-29
Last Modified: 2013-11-22
First MX record points to a spam filtering server and mail then forwards on to the Exchanger Server 2000.

Second MX record points to the ISP mail relay server but this has no spam filtering.

Wild card email has been implemented (points to one user account) with some kind of script rule - it does seem to work, but obviously makes the spam issue much bigger.

Firstly is there an affordable spam filter available for Exchange server? (anti-virus system is NOD32)

Secondly, if wildcard email was rejected if it comes from the mail relay this would kill most of that spam .. how to implement this?

I am fed up with Exchange server and am ready to suggest the customer implements mDaemon which has unlimited storage and spam filtering included. Any thoughts on this?

thanks mark
Question by:mbhh
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    Upgrading to Exchange 2003 would give you an additional Anti-Spam level in the system, moving the second MX record to a provider that does give you the AS service (and these are not too hard to find these days ;) ) would help you as well. I wouldn't move to another mail system (kinda drastic don't you think), but if you're so unhappy with it. I've been using GFI's product in the past and had happy customers with it. I don't want to sell the product here, so I will make some other suggestions as well :) My company is currently using Brightmail on an appliance that I'm very, very happy with... I also see some Ironport commercials on this site and I have to say they were close too... For the less demanding and less expensive solution (really the small business type user) I'd give GFI a try, I believe they have a trial version as well.
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    What you are seeing is what the spammers expect. They target the second MX record hoping that it is not as well protected for spam as the primary filter. This is true in your case. You either need to protect the second MX record to the same level as the primary or remove it.

    GFI Mail Essentials is very popular with smaller sites. I also have deployed Vamsoft ORF to great success as well.
    The issue with the spam filters is to look past the price. Some filters just don't work well with certain types of email and cannot be used.

    You would also benefit from an upgrade to the latest version of Exchange. Comparing Exchange 2000 (which is almost seven years old - longer if you take betas in to account) to the latest version of Mdaemon (or any other email package) is hardly fair. Would you compare a brand new car with a seven year old one?

    The email industry has moved on, and things are expected in the products as standard that just were not thought of even a few years ago.


    Author Comment

    Thank you both for comments.

    First question was answered well by both responses.

    But I feel the second question was not addressed yet. The second question was how to filter incoming mail to the Exchange 2000 Server when it is a wildcard addressee, and it comes via the mail relay. The Sembee answer may have addressed this by omission - ie not possible? Please can you confirm?
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    Dump the wildcard. I don't deploy wildcards (aka catch all) on any site and will advise clients not to do so either.
    A catch all account basically means that any email address is valid. All that does is catch viruses and spammers who are trying to target your domain with every combination of email address.

    As for your comment about it being possible or not - I don't really understand where you are coming from with that.
    If you have an antispam filter on the Exchange server, then it will filter the messages no matter where they come in.
    The key thing is to ensure that all entry points are covered.

    Although the main question is do you really need the second MX record? I don't bother with a second MX record unless I am pointing it at another Exchange server in the org. I don't trust ISPs email servers.


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