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I'm guessing that this isn't really a problem, but new to running an email server so want to check.

If email goes through my email server (running hMailServer), and it has a virus, it can't just cause it's self to be executed, or be executed by some other process on the server can it? It would need to be launched by something, which shouldn't happen. The attachments look to be stored in .eml files as a byte string so aren't in a form in which they can be executed.

Right?

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2 Answers 2

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No.

Think of it as paper mail. If a blackmailer sends an extortion letter (the virus) then the post office itself is safe. it merely handles the closed letter.

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MOSTLY true. If an exploit in the mail server is used, the comparison of serious poison or a strong magnet in the letter becomes more fitting - the closed envelope will still be stuck to the nearest metal object or a dead mailman. Such vulnerabilities if they exist are VERY likely though to become very well known in the geek media - you won't read that on cert, you will read it on slashdot and heise if it concerns a well known mail server software. –  rackandboneman Jun 12 '12 at 18:10
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Unless there is some very serious bug in your mail server, or any attached mail anti-spam, anti-virus scanners, then your mail server is safe.

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