IronPort email spam filter

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Spam quarantine notification email messages

The university uses Ironport as its email security solution for spam email filtering. However, no spam or email filter is perfect. We advise everyone to be aware of best practices and remain vigilant when opening emails from unfamiliar sources and clicking suspect links.

IronPort spam quarantine notification

Receiving an "IronPort spam quarantine notification" message means the anti-spam filter has received an email addressed to you and suspects that the message may be spam. The purpose of this system is to reduce the amount of unsolicited spam received in your inbox. Please follow the link in the notification email message to review the email messages quarantined by IronPort. At times legitimate email messages may be quarantined. You can release these messages from quarantine and add the sender to a safelist.

IronPort keeping emails in quarantine

IronPort keeps quarantined emails for 30 days, and then the message is deleted. Once emails have been deleted from quarantine, they cannot be retrieved.

IronPort safelisting or blocklisting

Safelists ensure that email addresses added to this list do not have their messages filtered by anti-spam scanning. Blocklists ensure that messages from addresses added to this list are not sent to your inbox. 

Users are only allotted 100 entries (emails or domains) to use in their safelist or blocklist. This limit cannot be increased. 

We suggest mainly using these entries for your safelist. Spammers will often change the email address they are using to send spam or spoof the email address they are using. As a result, adding an email address to your blocklist may not stop future spam. 

The IronPort safelist cannot be set to allow all messages through its scan for a specific account. IST sets the level of spam email filtering for each email domain on campus. If you believe your email domain's spam filtering level is too strict or lenient, please contact IST.

Receiving spam in your inbox

Occasionally, the IronPort system may not block a spam email message, and that message will be delivered to your email Inbox. If you receive an unsolicited email in your inbox, first determine whether it is spam or a bulk email message from a legitimate vendor. If you have determined that a message is an unsolicited spam email, send that message as an attachment to [email protected]. Do not forward the message or just the email headers. The system administrators need to see the entire spam email in its original format.

If you receive multiple and continuous spam messages from a specific email address or domain, you may want to add that email address to your blocklist manually. View instructions on how to block an email address. Please note that spammers will often change the email address they are using to send spam or spoof the email address they are using. As a result, adding an email address to your blocklist may not always stop future spam.

Common issues

Receiving undeliverable error messages for messages you did not send or seeing spam emails from your email address. When this situation occurs, it is most likely that your email address has been ‘spoofed.’ Spoofing an email address is similar to writing a different return address on an envelope. It appears as though the letter or email was sent from a different address. 

When the spam message is sent to an invalid email address, you may receive bounce-back error messages stating that a message could not be delivered. Spammers can ‘harvest’ email addresses from public locations such as public web pages or online directories. Viruses or Spyware can also infect a computer and harvest email addresses from address books stored on that computer. If you suspect your computer has a possible virus, download updated virus definitions, run a virus scan, change your email and password, and contact IST.

Blank spam quarantine notification messages

It is possible that IronPort quarantined an email message sent to a distribution list. The corresponding quarantine notification was also sent to that distribution list’s email address, which all the distribution list members then received. When you access the email quarantine, check the upper-right corner of the page to see from which email address IronPort is quarantining messages. If it was sent to a distribution list, another member in that list might have already checked and either deleted or released the messages in quarantine.


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