University of ottawa email system mohammed master pete hickey
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University of Ottawa Email system Mohammed Master Pete Hickey. Current stats. 33,000 accounts 4,500 active users Others read on department servers 29 departmental servers Others use HotMail Others don’t read at all. Initial Descisions. Both staff & students have @uottawa.ca

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University of ottawa email system mohammed master pete hickey
University of Ottawa Email systemMohammed MasterPete Hickey


Current stats
Current stats

  • 33,000 accounts

  • 4,500 active users

  • Others read on department servers

    • 29 departmental servers

  • Others use HotMail

  • Others don’t read at all.


Initial descisions
Initial Descisions

  • Both staff & students have @uottawa.ca

  • Many departments maintained own mailers

  • POP/IMAP based


In the beginning
In the beginning…

  • There was no SPAM

  • Single machine did everything

    • Named after a famous mailman, Cliff.

  • Only readers were Pine and Pegasus.

  • telnet interface for admin

    • Forwarding

    • password change…


Current configuration
Current configuration

  • Virus filtering

  • Spam blocking

  • External relaying both blocked & permitted

  • Relatively firewalled.

  • SIS emailer hidden

  • Load split.

  • Moving toward LLBs

  • Admin interface web based.



Mailbox
Mailbox

  • Contains users inbox & folders

  • Runs POP and IMAP server

  • Only accepts from internal mailers

  • Forwards according to user’s .forward

  • Web admin interface via ssh

    • Vacation, password change, forward, etc.

    • Sanity checks on adding .forwards

  • Big AIX machine.


Secure mail
Secure-mail

  • Tunnels an SSL (IMAP) connection from user to mailbox

  • Encryption load not on mailbox.

  • Linux box


Smtp out
SMTP-OUT

  • Accepts mail from internal and our external users

  • Optional virus checking.

  • Old (token-ring) RS-6000

    • Switching to a pair of redundant linux (HA) boxes


University of ottawa email system mohammed master pete hickey
MXer

  • Accepts external email

  • Spam blocks

  • Virus checks before delivery

  • Mxes for departmental servers

    • Fewer departments MXing due to SPAM

    • Fewer departments running own servers

  • Pair of identical Linux boxes


Canyon
Canyon

  • Mail forwarder for our mainframe.

    • Professor sends email to class without having list of students’ addresses

    • Other admin apps which send mail

  • Re-writes headers to hide source machine.

  • No virus checking.

  • Small Linux


Remote relaying
Remote Relaying

  • Once remote user logs on to read mail, relaying is allowed

  • Small addition to POP/IMAP server

    • Whenever non-uottawa IP address logs on, address written to named pipe

  • Daemon reads from pipe, adds to database, sends to SMTP-OUT


Remote relaying1
Remote Relaying

  • Daemon on SMTP-OUT adds IP-address and timestamp to sendmail database

  • Sendmail allows relaying from addresses in the database.

  • Deamon purges addresses after 30 minutes.

  • Problems now, since some ISPs are blocking port 25 out.


Virus checking
Virus checking

  • We caught things before commercial virus checkers updates are available.

  • Virus checker comes free with Unix

    grep


Virus checking1
Virus Checking

  • MXer (and smtp-out) sendmails are set to queue only into directory mqueue

  • Mail_mover moves files from mqueue into mqueue2

    • Runs grep with –f to check for viruses

    • Mail with viruses put in mqueue3


Virus checking2
Virus Checking

  • Second sendmail transfers mail from mqueue2

  • Mail-returner returns mail in mqueue3

    • Unreturnable put in mqueue4

  • Adds delay of 5 minutes

  • Blocked over 1000 Klez in a day


Virus checking3
Virus Checking

  • Strings to look for are in text file used by grep.

  • We can filter on any content we want.

  • .exe files blocked here.


Spam blocking
Spam blocking

  • System tuned to users’ various needs.

  • SPAM blocking is a delicate balance

    • The tighter rules are higher percentage of real mail blocked.

  • Some users would rather receive SPAM than chance missing important mail

    • Eg admissions.

  • Valid users may come from WKS


Spam blocking1
Spam blocking

  • We make extensive use of sendmail checks to block/unblock

  • BlockIP list (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx).

    • No mail accepted from address

  • BlockIPS list (xxx.xxx.xxx)

    • No mail accepted from /24

  • BlockIPD (xxx.xxx)

    • No mail accepted from /16.


Spam blocking2
Spam blocking

  • AllowIP (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx)

    • Mail always accepted

  • AllowIPS (xxx.xxx.xxx)

    • Mail always excepted.

  • AllowSpam list

    • No spam filtering done for these addresses.


Spam blocking3
SPAM blocking

  • Checks against common subjects

    • 1424 Learn How to Drop Your MORTGAGE Rates.

    • 161 Get a FREE credit card debt evaluation

    • 80 A WinXP patch

    • 59 Be Your Own Server Admin

    • 49 100 Million EMAIL CD $69

    • 50 Work From Home

    • 47 Interest rates are rising!

    • 27 Snowhite and the Seven Dwarfs

    • 26 ( XXX WARNING!! )

    • 24 No Joke! A Bigger Penis Can Be Yours!


Spam blocking4
SPAM blocking

  • We allow for a one-off exception.

  • Mail to joe@uottawa.ca sent to joe.NOTSPAM@uottawa.ca

  • SPAM checking rules are ignored.

  • Allows grandma@seductive.com to send mail to sunnyboy@uottawa.ca


Sumary
Sumary

  • Mail system is composed of lots of little peices

  • Lots of little tricks make a good system.