[unisog] Dropping executables - who does it?

Karen A Swanberg swanberg at tc.umn.edu
Fri Feb 6 16:17:40 GMT 2004

on 02/05/04, at 3:57pm -0800, Avani wrote:

> On Thu, 5 Feb 2004, Christopher A Bongaarts wrote:

> > Some actually do.  Fortunately, they are easy to work around (either
> > by IT political muscle or allowing individual opt-out of filtering).
>  Don't you think you are approaching this the wrong way?  The majority of
> people who "welcome" spam simply don't trust any filters but themselves.

Chris's comments should be taken in context, which I realize those outside
the U.MN don't really have. We have an excellent spam filtering solution,
using a combination of SpamAssassin and blocking based on black hole
lists, plus other stuff (I'm not a member of the group doing the spam
blocking, so I can't give exact details, but I gratefully benefited from
their hard work).

Each person at the U.  has the option to: 1) Block all e-mail that doesn't
come from a U.MN address, 2) Use the spam filters, or 3) receive all

Those that use the spam filters can check a personalized website which
lists the spam which as been blocked over a two week period. (See
https://www.umn.edu/dirtools/etc/blockreasons.html for the list of reasons
we block).

If someone is blocked who shouldn't be, there is a way for both the sender
and receiver to request a way through the block. The reciever has to
specifically OK the request, though, so a spammer who has the time to do
things by hand still won't get through. So, this gives our users very
tight control over exactly what they want to recieve.

>  You say that you could work around these people.  Why not just cut off
> any infected machines you see on your own network?

The U. does definitely have the policies in place to turn off any
port which becomes infected. They do it quickly, and the user of the port
has to prove that the machine has been cleaned up before the port will be
turned back on.

We have carefully trodden the line between safe and free computing, and
have found an excellent balance.

-   Karen Swanberg | Sys Admin | Dept. of Geology and Geophysics  -
206 Pillsbury Hall | 310 Pillsbury Dr. SE | University of Minnesota
     Minneapolis, MN 55455  (612) 624-6541  (612) 625-3819 (f)

              The day I see a Soil Microbe Beanie Baby,
                 I'll know we're getting somewhere.
-                                              Barbara Kingsolver -

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