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Mailscanner trans.png
Developer(s) Jerry Benton
Stable release
5.0.3 / 14 August 2016
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Mail filter
License GPL

MailScanner is an open source email security system for use on Unix email gateways and was first released in 2001. It protects against viruses, spam, malware, and phishing. It is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

The original author, Julian Field, won the 2004 Open Source Award from UKUUG for the product.[1]

Worldwide, the software is estimated by the author to be processing over five billion emails per week, with over one million downloads. ISPs and mobile telephone networks are included in this list of users.

More recently, anti-phishing measures have been introduced. The software spots attempts at obfuscating URLs (for example, to lure the user into thinking they are signing into their bank, when in reality they are using an imposter web site) and modifies the email with a suitable warning.

As of January 2014 the project is maintained by the lead developer Jerry Benton.


MailScanner is implemented in around 50,000 lines of Perl. It links with other software packages in order to fulfill its duties:

As with any complex software platform, performance results can vary wildly depending on a wide variety of factors. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a quad Xeon PC with 2 GB of RAM and 15 kRPM SCSI disks can process something in the area of 2.2 million messages per day.[2]

Related software[edit]


  1. ^ "UKUUG - Open Source Award 2004". UKUUG. 2004-05-16. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  2. ^ "MailScanner 'Most Asked Questions (Setup examples)'". MailScanner. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 

External links[edit]