Exception lists / Sender Rules

MailCleaner Support
Added about 5 years ago

How Sender Rules Work

What Sender Rules exist

There are a variety of rules that can be created for sender email addresses. These include:

  • Whitelist - Prevents messages from that sender from being marked as Spam
  • Warnlist - Alerts users when a message from that sender was held in the quarantine
  • Blacklist - Forces messages from that sender to be marked as Spam
  • Newslist - Prevents messages from that sender from being marked as a Newsletter

Evaluation Order

The first 3 are evaluated in this order. In other words, if a rule that applies to that sender exists in the Whitelist, it will not be marked as Spam. If it is not Whitelisted, but it is Warnlisted and Blacklisted, it will be quarantined, but an alert will be sent.

The Newslist is treated separately. Every message can be flagged as both Spam and Newsletter. If it is flagged as both but only one of the Whitelist or Newslist is found then the message will still be quarantined because the other flag is not accounted for. Note that you have the option to not quarantine newsletters, this is effectively the equivalent to having all senders in the Newslist.

Where Are the Rules Created

These rules can be created at a variety of levels:

  • Configuration->Anti-Spam - These rules apply to all recipients no matter what.
  • Configuration->Domains->[select domain]->Filtering - These rules will apply to all recipients within that domain (must be enabled)
  • Configuration->Management->Users->[select Email] - These rules will apply only to that recipient email address (must be enabled in the Domain's Filtering settings)
  • (User Interface) Relevant Configuration page - These rules apply only to that recipient email address (must be enabled in the Domain's Filtering settings)
  • Releasing a quarantined message - You will get a pop-up message to allow you to create a Newslist and/or Whitelist entry that applies to that recipient

Sender Rule Formatting

The recognized formats for sender rules have change somewhat over time, so here are some guidelines on the currently supported formats:

Note on this format. Support for sub-addressing has recently been added. This means that rules for the above address will also apply to senders with a '+' suffix such as:

Support has also been added to decode variable and obscured sender addresses such as SRS addresses so that the above rule would also apply to: SRS0=1234=ABC=domain.com=sender@forwarder.com

  • @domain.com - Entire sender domain

Legacy support is provided for the '*' prefix that used to be required as well. So the following will have the same effect: *@domain.com

  • domain.com - Domain substring

A substring means that it will match as part of a longer string. So this rule would also apply to: otherdomain.com. Usually the way that this is useful is to match all subdomains. In that case, you should include the preceding dot: .domain.com

  • ^sender*@*domain.com$ - Limited regular expression

There is support for a few regular expression characters including

  1. ^ - Matches the start of the address
  2. $ - Matches the end of the address
  3. * - Wildcard match for anything in the middle of the address

Wildcards at the beginning or end are not necessary since they will be matched by the substring. You may wish to include the start and end markers with other rules as well to avoid the ambiguity of say: sender@domain.communications.net when the end anchor is not used.

Forced message prompt

When a message is released, you will be offered the opportunity to create a Newslist and/or Whitelist for that sender if that user has that feature enabled. Normally this will offer to create an entry for the exact match (Envelope Sender for Whitelist; From header for Newslist). Recently a feature was added to allow for automatic suggestions for domain-wide or generic rules if the relevant address looks like it might be a single-use address. By default, it will select the generic rule which will attempt to strip off the single-use content since creating a rule for a single-use address is useless.

Where Are Sender Rules Stored

There is a table in the 'mc_config' database called 'wwlists' which contains all of these rules distinguished by the column 'type'.

Bulk insertion