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I have a forward setup on one of our public facing email addresses to a few users outside of our system (to an external address). Seeing as it's public (printed on a website in plain text), we get TONS of spam on that account. We're being marked as a SPAM source due to the forwarding by the external system. We have pretty aggressive IMF (Intelligent Message Filtering) setup, and it works great for internal messages. The problem we're facing is that Exchange is forwarding ALL the email received on that account, and not just the messages that pass the IMF (and don't get pushed into Junk).

As far as I can tell, there's no way to adjust the IMF settings for that one account. And as far as I can tell, there's no way to setup folder forwarding (inbox -> external address) from Exchange. Is there something I'm missing or is there any way around these issues that I may be missing?


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

We faced a similar problem back when we were on Exchange 2003. A few of our users forwarded their emails out of our system, generally to freemail systems with ironically better spam controls than we had, and got the full unedited stream of mail. What fixed it was getting better anti-spam systems that actually blocked spam. They'd still get "suspect" spam, directed to the Junk Mail folder, in their feeds though. The other thing that helped was using Outlook-rule level forwarding rather than Exchange level forwarding, as that just forwards what actually arrives in the inbox according to Outlook.

And finally, if you do get to Exchange 2007 and this address is a company-level address for some reason, Transport Rules can be configured to only forward mails with and IMF below a certain point.

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Outlook forwarding is out, since this is a virtual user. So unless I setup outlook on a server just to process spam (and I'd need to do this for every forwarder), it's not going to work. As for the blocking, I just tried setting up Gateway blocking, so we'll see how that goes... – ircmaxell Jun 3 '10 at 15:43
Some outlook-level rules (such as forwarding, actually) really execute in Exchange. There are some 'machine level' (local) rules, such as execute on message header details, that you'd have to leave Outlook open to use. – sysadmin1138 Jun 3 '10 at 15:46
So what you're saying, is that all I need to do is setup outlook once, set the forwarding rule, and then shut down. Then it would obey those rules? That sounds kind of stupid (that there's no way to enact those same rules right from Exchange)... I'll give the Gateway blocking a go for a little bit, and if that doesn't help, I'll try the outlook rules. – ircmaxell Jun 3 '10 at 15:49

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