Email blacklisting for IOSR

Due to the repeated unsolicited email originating from the following senders:


we have started automatically directing email from those sites to the SuspectedSpam folder, with a label that says [BLACKLISTED].  If you need to receive email from that site please let us know and you can whitelist the required addresses (see our Email and Spam Filtering webpage for more information).

SpamAssassin email filtering to be added in early afternoon today

After more testing we have decided that SpamAssassin is ready to be deployed.  Starting in the early afternoon today we will put in this new filtering.  The SpamAssassin filtering is currently not aggressive, but as mentioned in an earlier post you should check your SuspectedSpam folder for the next little while to verify that things are working well for you.

As usual you please let us know at if you observe any problems with this.

Additional spam filtering with SpamAssassin

In order to lessen the number of spam emails making their way into users’ mailboxes and to have a fallback should our current system fail or is removed by the University, we will soon be adding another spam filtering mechanism, called SpamAssassin, to our email system.

SpamAssassin modifies the Subject line of messages that it thinks are potentially spam by adding “[SPAM <number>]” where <number> is larger than or equal to 5.  In our tests, with the default system settings, SpamAssassin did a very good job of detecting spam (of course, no spam filter is perfect).

SpamAssassin will use the same SuspectedSpam folder as our current spam filter (Puremessage) uses.  The Subject lines of most messages will have SpamAssassin’s and Puremessage’s estimate of the likelihood that that email is spam.  You should check your SuspectedSpam folder when this is first deployed to check that it is not too aggressive for your needs.

Manipulating the aggressiveness of spam filtering will remain the same, see our Emial and Spam Filtering  page for more information.

Another announcement will be made on this website when the filtering is implemented.

SquirrelMail and Roundcube Webmail Servers

There were a few smaller issues with SquirrelMail that were discovered and fixed earlier this week including a security token expiration problem (we have configured the program to generate a new key for each access, but they expire after two days, so please do not Compose a single message for more than that time).

In order to have another webmail choice for people in case there are any further problems with SquirrelMail we now have a second, unsupported, webmail server on our system, Roundcube.  Roundcube has some advantages (it looks nice, it has a mobile interface, it is newer, etc.) and some disadvantages (address books would have to be recreated, some icons can be poorly rendered, some text may be partially obscured, refreshing large folders can result in constant refreshing, etc.), however for most users it seems to work reasonably well.

Squirrelmail updated

The squirrelmail webmail server for departmental email was updated this morning and it appears to be functioning well.  Please let know if you observe any problems with this update.

Squirrelmail update scheduled for Tue July 26, 2016 at 10:30am

The squirrelmail webmail server for departmental email will be updated starting on Tuesday July 26, 2016 at 10:30am.  It should be accessible by 11am.

This update fixes a problem where replying/forwarding squirrelmail messages did not always include the original message in the body of the new message.

Other email clients such as pine and thunderbird will not be affected by this squirrelmail outage.

Email system is working again

The email system was back online before 1pm.

Email system update underway

The email system update is underway.  It is taking somewhat longer than expected and will probably be up by 1pm.

Email system update on Wednesday, July 13 at 11am

The departmental email server will be upgraded, starting at 11am on Wednesday July 13, 2016. We expect that the upgrade will take about one hour.

The new server will have stronger security and updated software. The web client, squirrelmail, will be slightly newer and there seem to be no significant changes in its behaviour. Access to our email system by the POP3 protocol will no longer be supported (an email about this was sent more than 3 weeks ago to affected users).

After the update please let know if you discover any problems.

Email system updates

We are planning to update our underlying email system later this month.  This will result in a more up-to-date and secure environment for our users.

We will be updating how people can connect to our email system:

1) POP access will no longer be available since it is very inefficient (it requires redownloading all files when getting new messages).  If you use POP please change to IMAP; most modern email clients can automatically detect the appropriate settings. If you need more details, below is an example of the settings (click on the image to see a larger version):


2) Our system supports encrypted IMAP access to (on port 143) with STARTTLS.  Modern email clients support this type of access.

3) Our system supports encrypted message submission to (on port 587) with STARTTLS.  Modern email clients support this type of access.

4) We will continue to have webmail access using a slightly updated version of our current Squirrelmail server.

After the update please let know if you discover any problems.