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UVA's Email Virus Protection Service

About the Service & Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

About UVA's Email Virus Protection Service

UVA’s automatic Email Virus Protection Service (EVPS) augments the protection of the antivirus program on your computer (such as the UVA-provided Symantec Norton Antivirus, downloadable from UVA Software Gateway), to stop infection from most viruses and worms.

As automated systems are never perfect, they cannot ensure full protection for your computer from infections on your computer (which can happen in a variety of ways), but their use will lessen the number of infections of your computer.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the EVPS

What messages are dropped by UVA's Email Virus Protection Service?
The Email Virus Protection Service (EVPS) drops messages which:
  1. contain attachment and MIME types which are banned or that have attachments that match known virus signatures; and
  2. are sent:
    • to any address of the form something@virginia.edu (e.g., mst3k@virginia.edu, mthomas@virginia.edu, or list_name@virginia.edu),
    • to the UVA Exchange Service, unless the email is sent from another UVA Exchange account (in that case, the email never leaves Exchange to be checked). Note: Email from a UVA Exchange account is not checked unless it is to a @virginia.edu address.

The EVPS does not process messages to or from departmental email servers (unless the inbound message is sent to a primary address or email alias address that then directs the message to the departmental server).

The EVPS also does not process messages to student and alumni email accounts provided by the UVA-contracted vendor, as the vendor provides this service.

How does the Email Virus Protection Service work?
The Email Virus Protection Service (EVPS) makes 2 checks on each email message that is sent:
  • compares message attachment and MIME types to a list of banned attachment and MIME types; then
  • scans messages for attachments, and checks any attachments against a known set of computer virus/computer worm signature definitions.

If a message has a match in either of the 2 checks, it is dropped, even if the message is legitimate and would not be a problem. The message is not delivered to its intended recipient, nor is it returned to its sender.

Note that while ZIP files, and their associated MIME type, are not on the banned list, unencrypted ZIP files are expanded and the files contained checked against the banned list. If any file within the ZIP file would be banned if sent as a stand-alone attachment, the ZIP file will also be banned and the message dropped.

What does it mean to say a message has been dropped?
When any message protected by the EVPS message is dropped, the EVPS does not deliver it, and does not send a failed mail message about the non-delivery. See banned attachment and MIME types for more information on the types of messages which the EVPS will drop.
What can I do if a legitimate message has been dropped?
If you need to send or receive an email message and the file attachment uses one of the banned attachment and MIME types, the sender can:
  1. Rename the file, avoiding the banned type in the name; and
  2. Resend the file as an attachment, providing the recipient with instructions to save the attachment to a file, and then rename the file to a specified name before using it.
Can I obtain a record of my dropped messages?
No records are kept for messages that are dropped, so there is no mechanism for you to use to obtain information about these messages.
Where can I get additional help or information about the Email Virus Protection Service?
Questions and comments about the Email Virus Protection Service should be directed to the UVA Help Desk by calling (434) 924-HELP (434-924-4357).

  Page Updated: 2017-03-23