My Mail Was Rejected By MailScanner

Why are you spamming me?

Many people see e-mails that say that MailScanner has rejected their message as it was spam, or else get reports about them having sent viruses.

That does not mean that the MailScanner development team is in any way associated with the e-mail. It simply means that your Internet Provider, or the Internet Provider of the sender, is using the MailScanner software to scan for viruses and spam.

The MailScanner development team do not send any unsolicited e-mail.

Who altered my e-mail?

Your system administrator or Internet Provider has installed MailScanner, which modified your e-mail. The MailScanner development team are not responsible for things people do with MailScanner. If you do not like the way your mail is processed, please do not complain to us. It will do no good.

Why was the e-mail altered?

Your system administrator or Internet Provider has implemented a policy defining certain unacceptable content in e-mail messages. This may include banning viruses, spam or certain filenames. Each incoming or outgoing e-mail is scanned for unacceptable content, and some of it may therefore be removed or altered.

If you have concerns about the scanning policy, please talk to your system administrator or the support staff at your Internet Provider.

I didn't send a virus -- why does your software claim I did?

MailScanner was released long before viruses started forging the addresses on mail they sent, and some people are still running MailScanner installations from back then. There was also a transient period in which only a few viruses forged the addresses, and most of them did not. Any recent or well-maintained copy of MailScanner will not send those messages out by default, as it knows that is the sensible thing to do these days. But old or poorly-maintained copies of MailScanner may still be using the default settings that were sensible at the time they were installed, which is often several years ago.

I entirely agree with you on this matter, these servers should not be sending out these warnings these days. But if the site administrators have neither the inclination or the time to maintain their installation correctly, or even just to update it to a more recent release, there is little that can be done. There is no central list of people using MailScanner, so it is impossible to contact them all directly. Anyone who takes an active interest in MailScanner will know all about this problem, but unfortunately there are sites who do not.

As for it advertising MailScanner, that is simply not the case as the software is totally free and therefore there is no "product" to sell.

Who is MailScanner and why are you mucking with my mail?

MailScanner is a software project run by the University of Southampton. It is a popular e-mail scanner which many companies and Internet Providers use to scan mail. It is that program which sent you to this web site.

Remember, although we wrote the program, it is your system administrator who chose to use it, and we have no control over the way it is used or configured.


The original version of this page came from Many thanks to them for writing it and not getting too upset when I copied it!