Eric Wilde
BSM Development
44 Whitewood Circle
Norwood, MA 02062
Phone: 781-551-0153

Maintenance Release of MailCorral Improves Security and Reliability

Norwood, MA -- December 20, 2002 -- BSM Development ( announces the latest release of MailCorral, a mail filtration program, for use on Unix and Linux systems and available for download from the company's Web site. This release (version 1.0.14) is a maintenance release that incorporates fixes for a number of possible virus exploits (none of which have actually been seen, as yet) and several situations that can cause the filter to crash when certain messages are received. Enhancements have been made to the way the filter processes HTML messages to reduce the number of noise rejections, of messages that don't contain viruses and message insertion has been greatly improved. A number of user-requested enhancements have been made, including automatic handling of foreign language messages.

All current users of MailCorral are strongly recommended to upgrade their installations to this version of the product. Although none of the potential virus exploits that have been fixed in this release have been observed in real life, it may only be a matter of time before they do appear. Being prepared for such eventuality is a prudent step. Upgrading to the 1.0.14 version of MailCorral now will ensure that if and when such virus exploits are used, no viral material will slip through the filter and damage the recipient systems.

A number of problems with badly formatted messages, messages containing unusual character sequences in their headers and language support have been fixed in this release. In some cases, the problem could cause a crash or loop in the filter, thereby precluding processing of messages. In other cases, the filter would continue to run but the messages in question would not be properly processed, if at all. All of the problems fixed are serious enough to warrent immediate upgrading to the 1.0.14 version of MailCorral.

The HTML processing algorithms have been altered in the 1.0.14 version of MailCorral to reduce the number of false positive hits for viral material in HTML formatted messages. BSM continues to fine tune the algorithms used for processing HTML tags to ensure that no viral material can get throught the filter but to allow the maximum amount of innocuous HTML through so that messages will appear formatted as closly as possilbe to their intended appearance. One of the most common methods used to launch viruses, from a message, is HTML so it is important to err on the side of caution when excising possibly harmful tags from an HTML message. On the other hand, too many false positive hits and the filter can become extremely annoying. Its a fine line to walk but the latest version is greatly improved in this respect.

Prior to version 1.0.14 of MailCorral, filter notification, text inserts into the message being delivered were sometimes inserted in an inappropriate location within the message, due to the complex nature of some HTML messages. Similarly, messages that were poorly formed would not be altered correctly when the text insert was added. All of these problems have been fixed so that the vast majority of messages will be altered properly and the user will no longer see any problems caused by insertion of text at the wrong location within the message. Furthermore, inserts are now encoded back into their original form, whatever content encoding that is, so that the message will appear even less obviously altered, to the user. Another good reason to deploy this latest version of MailCorral.

MailCorral is used to filter mail delivered to Unix and Linux systems via the standard Simple Mail Transfer Protocol interface. As such, it watches all mail traffic entering your system and inspects it for the presence of harmful viruses and annoying spam.

The advantage of filtering mail on the Unix/Linux system delivering it is that MailCorral can stop viruses and spam before they ever get to the recipients. This can reduce network traffic (for spam) and guarantee that a virus will not get launched by mistake.

In addition to MailCorral, SpamCorral is available, from BSM Development, for handling spam that has been sidelined and not delivered by the mail filter. Options allow the spam to be placed in a holding area, from whence a notification is sent to the recipients on a regular basis. If they decide, in response to notification, that they would like to see the spam after all, it may be automatically released from the holding area and delivered to the recipient.

A collection of test mail messages is offered which can be used to validate your installation's virus filtering and spam rejection capabilities (regardless of how they are provided). These test messages are specially-crafted to validate known methods of virus propagation, using killed viruses which can do no damage. Auditing your system's virus filtering capabilities, in this manner, is an excellent way to detect security holes and repair them before they are exploited by malicious users wanting to infect your system (think of it as vaccination for your system). Checking your system's spam rejection capabilities will prevent your users from being annoyed by and wasting their time with spurious junk.

Also available is an outbound mail redirector which can be used for small installations wanting to send mail from their internal networks through an Internet Service Provider that only accepts mail from individual users. Systems that must support multiple users and virtual domains through a typical ISP account will find this product useful.

For more information about these products, see the company's products Web page,, email or phone 781-551-0153.