SpamAssassin

What is it?

An anti-spam platform giving system administrators a filter to classify email and block spam (unsolicited bulk email).

How does it work?

  • SpamAssassin uses a wide variety of local and network tests to identify spam signatures. This makes it harder for spammers to identify one aspect which they can craft their messages to work around.
  • This interface allows admins to configure SpamAssassin user preferences for mail processed through SpamAssassin on the mailservices cluster.
  • It does not affect SpamAssassin running locally on your mail server; those preferences may be updated directly on your faculty/department mail server.

Please contact your computer support staff if you are not certain which preferences are in effect for your mail server.

Who can use it?

SpamAssassin can be configured for both Mailservices and Connect accounts.

Configuring SpamAssassin

If your mailbox is on Mailservices or Connect, then use the WatIAM password option for authentication. Adjust your SpamAssassin configurations.

Exchange/Connect email scanning (Proofpoint)

What is it?

Proofpoint's email security gateway blocks spam, phishing, and malware.

How does it work?

  • Email with security concerns (e.g. spam, phishing attempts, malware) will be identified and placed in your quarantine.
  • As a regular user, you can see messages which have been quarantined, if they were classified as spam. If they were classified as malware, you will need assistance from your IT computing rep in order to release the message from quarantine.

Important resources

Who can use it?

Proofpoint is only used on Connect accounts.

Known issues

  • When an email is "released" from spam quarantine, the Received headers are altered so that mail clients will display the date it was released as "date received", rather than the date the mail was originally received by Proofpoint. Most mail clients have the capability to also display "date sent," which can be used if users are having difficulty finding released emails in their inbox.

Greylisting

Learn about 'greylisting' as a method of defending against spam.

Getting full headers from your email client

Rationale

When reporting problems with email (either delivery or spam/phishing), you might be asked to forward the email in question as an attachment, or to include its full headers.

Both methods will allow IST staff to examine the headers, which are important because they describe the chain of mail servers that the message transited before it landed in your inbox. Examining the full headers might demonstrate the actual origin of a message. In the case of a delayed email, they will show which server caused the delay, and why.

Most mail clients will display only a portion of the headers at a given time, but it's important to make sure you've included them all. If your selection does not include lines starting with "Received:" then you are missing the most important parts. Forwarding the message as an attachment might be easier and eliminates any copy and paste errors. Steps for both processes are outlined below.

Forwarding as an attachment

Outlook 2016

Double-click the message to open it in its own window. Click on the Message menu, then look for the More drop-down icon (within the Respond group), where you will find "Forward as Attachment".

Outlook 2013

Double-click the message to open it in its own window. Click on the File menu, then look for the More drop-down icon, where you will find "Forward as Attachment".

OWA (Outlook Web Access) 2010

Select the message you want to forward in the middle column. Right click on it, and choose "Forward as Attachment" from the context menu.

Office 365 and OWA 2016

In the Office 365 web app or OWA mail application: compose a new email in its own window and drag the message to attach from your inbox into the new email window. You may need to click a little blue double-pane icon in the top right of the OWA window in order to force the new message to open in its own window. Detailed instructions can be found at: https://kb.wisc.edu/office365/page.php?id=34567.

Apple Mail (most versions)

Classic View: Right click on the message in the preview pane (classic view) or middle pane (not-classic view), and in either case choose "Forward As Attachment" from the context menu.

Thunderbird

Right click the message in the preview pane, select "Forward As" from the context menu, and then choose "Attachment" from the pop-out menu.

Selecting full headers

Select and copy Full Header details, beginning with "Received:", into an email message and send to soc@uwaterloo.ca.

Outlook 2016 or 2013

Double-click the message to open it, then from the top menu, select message and then Properties. The headers are displayed in a window labelled "Internet headers." 

Office 365 and Outlook Web Access (OWA) 2016

In the Office 365 web app: click the down arrow beside the ‘Reply all’ button and select ‘View message details’. This will work in the email preview pane as well as when the email is in its own separate window.

Apple Mail (most versions)

With the mail displayed either in the preview pane or a separate window, click View, then under Message, choose "All Headers."

Outlook Web Access (OWA) 2010

Double-click the message to open it, then click "Message Details" - the icon looks like an open envelope with a sheet of lined paper next to it.

Thunderbird (most versions)

With the mail displayed in either the preview pane or a separate window, click View, then under Headers, select All.

Additional resources

Google's help page on displaying headers