The Anomy sanitizer is what most people would call "an email virus scanner".
That description is not totally accurate, but it does cover one of the more
important jobs that the sanitizer can do for you - it can scan email
attachments for viruses. Other things it can do:
Protect you from email-based break-in attempts which exploit bugs in
common email programs (Outlook, Eudora, Pine, ...).
Block or "mangle" attachments based on their file names. This way if
you don't need to recieve e.g. visual basic scripts, then you don't
have to worry about the security risk they imply (the ILOVEYOU virus
was a visual basic program). This lets you protect yourself and your
users from whole classes of attacks, instead of blocking individual
what makes this better than XYZ?
Since I began writing the Anomy Sanitizer (and a while before),
quite a few programs have cropped up which aim to
solve more-or-less the same problems as Anomy. I've looked at most of
them, and in general they lack the following features:
Anomy can (if properly configured) sanitize mail without ever touching
your hard drive, and in general tries to minimize disk I/O and memory
usage at the expense of increased CPU usage (more complex algorithms).
Many, if not all, competing filters are more likely to either fill your
disks or memory if someone sends you a very large message. On modern
mail servers my approach is not only good for reliability, but it
should be good for performance as well.
Anomy uses it's own MIME parser which was specifically designed with a
security filter in mind. The MIME standards contain a few ambiguities
which may lead to one parser finding an attachment which some other
parser might miss - if your virus filter misses an attachment, but the
email client sees it then you are at risk of being infected. Problems
like this have
been discovered in commercial antivirus products as well as
and have led to infections on the networks they protect.
Of course, many of the alternatives have other features which may be
more important to you, in which case I encourage you to use them. But
these features are important to me.
If the program proves useful to you and you haven't time to
contribute code, documentation or bug reports - then please consider
supporting the project with
a cash donation. I'm doing this in my spare time, and all
Please browse the archives for
before submitting new bug reports or questions to the lists.
If you just want to chat (or try asking questions), I can sometimes be
found on IRCnet using the nickname Juggler. I'm usually happy to hear from
users, but don't be offended if I'm too busy to reply or hold your hand.
Related information - other pages related to the Anomy Sanitizer.