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SpamFilter.ini corrupt/empty/0 Kb

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    Posted: 12 February 2011 at 4:12pm
This month we received multiple reports of the SpamFilter.ini file becoming corrupted, usually resulting in an empty SpamFilter.ini file of 0KB and/or with non-ascii characters. When this happens, SpamFilter can loose the database connection string (preventing spam from being quarantined) and, more importantly, will loose the default destination SMTP server. This latter problem causes clean emails to be queued up as they cannot be delivered.

Restoring the SpamFilter.ini file from backup, or reconfiguring the settings via the GUI will allow all the queued emails to be delivered to destination as soon as the settings are restored.

The problem is affecting different versions of SpamFilter 4.x, and started to occur sometime within the last couple of weeks, after 8 years of flawless functionality. We are currently still trying to determine what causes the SpamFilter.ini file to become corrupted, but have ruled out (with 100% certainty) as being the cause any issues with any antivirus products installed on a server and/or the latest Microsoft security patches from January and February.

In an attempt to prevent the issue from occurring, we released an update to SpamFilter - v4.2.4.843 - that is available for download in the registered user area. This version of SpamFilter does not update the SpamFilter.ini file with the latest information about the number of emails received and forwarded (which, since SpamFilter v1.0, was flushed to the SpamFilter.ini file every minute or so), but rather saves them to a separate .ini file. Doing so prevents any updates to the SpamFilter.ini file except for when an admin updates SpamFilter's settings.
Roberto Franceschetti

LogSat Software

Spam Filter ISP
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lyndonje Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2011 at 6:40am
Hi Roberto,

If v4.2.4.843 doesn't cure this problem, could SF be programmed to shutdown, or stop accepting inbound SMTP connections when spamfilter.ini becomes corrupt/empty? Our monitoring software would then alert us to the problem allowing us to correct it sooner. 

I think I'm correct in saying that when the problem occurs, log data is lost as SF looses the log path, and I also think emails for domains with per-domain settings are rejected. For these reasons I thought shutting down the listening ports would be a good idea as then at least  good emails would either queue on the senders servers for a period of time, or be delivered to backup MX servers. See it as some form of damage limitation!

Thoughts?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LogSat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2011 at 10:00pm
Hi lyndonje,

Since .843 was released, we have not had a single report of this issue. For now we're planning on making the 4.2.4.844 build our official build, which will happen early next week. While we could certainly program SpamFilter as you mentioned, the risk at this point of introducing side-effects with that is, in our opinion, greater than sticking with the (apparently) patched .843 & .844 builds...
Roberto Franceschetti

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lyndonje Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 April 2011 at 5:06am
Hi Roberto,

That's fair enough. Thanks for the response.

Kind Regards,
Lyndon
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