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Symantec Brightmail Anti-Spam

In response to the university’s request to limit the number of unsolicited email messages (spam) arriving in APU inboxes, IMT has implemented a centralized spam detection system called Symantec Brightmail Anti-Spam (Brightmail).

[Spam]


Brightmail works by scanning all incoming email messages before they reach APU inboxes and tagging the message subjects with [Spam] if they meet specific criteria defined by the Brightmail filters.

Example: [Spam] will be prepended to “Invest in this stock now!” to produce “[Spam]Invest in this stock now!” if the Brightmail filter determines that the message is spam.

IMT recommends that you set up email filtering to move these messages to your Junk Mail folder if you are on the Exchange 2003 email system.

False-Positive

A false-positive results when Brightmail believes that a message is spam when it in fact is not spam. According to Symantec’s published statistics, this will occur 1 time for every 1,000,000 email messages received.

False-Negative

A false-negative results when Brightmail determines that a message is not spam when it in fact is spam. According to Symantec’s published statistics, this will occur 5 times for every 100 spam messages you receive. In other words, this filter will catch 95 percent of your spam.

[Suspected Spam]

IMT has added a second filter that works by scanning all incoming email messages that are not marked as [Spam] before they reach APU inboxes and tagging the message subject with [Suspected Spam] if it meets specific criteria defined by IMT. This filter is designed to try and catch the 5 percent of spam that the Brightmail filter does not catch.

Example: [Suspected Spam] will be prepended to “Let’s go to the beach tomorrow” to produce “[Suspected Spam]Let’s go to the beach tomorrow” if the custom IMT filter suspects that the message may be spam.

IMT recommends that you do not set up email filtering rules for these messages. There will be very few of these messages and therefore they will be easier to filter through if they are delivered to your inbox.

Reporting False-Positives and/or False-Negatives

Please do not contact IMT regarding false-positives or false-negatives unless the issue persists for more than 24 hours. Symantec releases updated spam filters for Brightmail approximately every 10 minutes, so most likely the problem will be fixed quickly and automatically.

Filtering Tagged Messages

Those who are using Outlook and/or Outlook Web Access (https://apumail.apu.edu) to access email at APU can create rules that look for messages with [Spam] in the subject line. Please visit our Setting Up a Spam Rule page to learn how to add rules to the email client that you are using.

Please contact the IMT Support Desk via phone at (626) 815-5050 or Ext. 5050, or via email at support@apu.edu if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.