[Esa-l] Files to poison: Hybris

rcooper rcooper at jamesconeyisland.com
Thu Dec 14 06:58:51 PST 2000

On Thursday 14 December 2000 06:21, you wrote:
> At 20:11 13/12/00 -0800, John wrote:
> >If it's not business related, my answer is "tough."
> Mine too.  I get flack from the lower levels of my userbase because of the
> poisoned file I use (to summarize the diffs against the 'default' list:
> *.asf, *.avi, *.bat, *.cmd, *.com, *.exe, *.mov, *.mp[g|eg?]?,
> *.qt[m|vr?]?, *.scm, *.scr, prolly some others I've missed)  Quite
> draconian, I think you'll agree, but in the business we are in
> (recruitment) there is no reason for members of staff to *regularly*
> receive files of these types.

I take the same draconian approach here.  Especially with *.exe and *.com.
Our email system is small with only about 100 users or so.  Still we manage 
to average about 2 gigs a month in email.  Since the majority of email is 
amongst ourselves the risk is smaller than with the email that comes from the 
outside.  We pretty much dont allow anything but .doc,.xls,.jpg,.gif.  
Everthing else sent to /dev/null. 

> >We don't need a zillion copies of frog-in-a-blender or elf bowling
> >coming in through our mail system at work. If it's business related,
> >they make arrangements to upload it to our FTP site (all of our
> >clients have accounts).
> I can but agree.  If only I had the gumption to make internal mail go
> through the sanitizer as well to stop the trade in .EXEs inside of the
> company I'd have a shed-load of disk space returned to the servers.
> I don't *yet* have the FTP option (I'm working on it though...), so I get
> clients to send things through me (as the postmaster) if it's on the
> poisoned list.
> >Your boss should back you up if you let him know that business-related
> >.EXEs are coming in at about one per year.
> >
> >BTW, my users call me the Email Nazi. :)
> I remind the higher-ups about Mellisa and ILOVEYOU when I start getting
> flack and it all dies down very quickly.  They have the sense to see why
> the approach I take with the sanitizer is, in the long-term, the best
> approach.
> I don't want to know what my userbase calls me :-)  No doubt it involves a
> few expletives.

I santize all internal and external mail.  The File mangling was a problem at 
first.  I had a meeting to address this isssue with the end users.  I 
educated them as to why the filename was mangled and not launchable from 
their email client.  I showed them examples of what can happen if they launch 
an attachment that is infested and the effects it would have on their work.  
Once they saw I was looking out for their best interests and not trying to 
exert authority over them and make things harder, they gave me 100 % support. 
 So naturally, the next step was to stop all the little cute .exe files that 
offices share amongst themselves.  Again, communication and education was key 
in getting user support.  I allowed the users to take an active role in the 
policy.  For example sometimes a vendor will call complaining they cannot 
send a certain filetype to our email systems. My users automatically say 
tough.  We dont accept those file types!  By making the users part of the 
process they will not feel alienated and will actually help the process.  
Perhaps this approach may not work well for really large groups but I have 
found a little bit of human engineering can go a long ways towards making the 
things work a lot smoother. 



> Kind regards
> Murray Crane
> Longbridge International Plc
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