Applies to: Exchange Server 2007 SP3, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007
Topic Last Modified: 2006-10-11

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 includes several improvements to the suite of anti-spam and antivirus features that was introduced in Exchange Server 2003.

Management of these features has improved in Exchange 2007. For example, you implement all anti-spam and antivirus features as transport-level agents, and you can manage and script the anti-spam and antivirus features by using the Exchange Management Shell.

Also, you can use a synchronization service named the Microsoft Exchange EdgeSync service to update configuration information and user data on computers that have the Edge Transport server role installed. The Microsoft Exchange EdgeSync service is a collection of processes that are run on the computer that has the Exchange 2007 Hub Transport server role installed to establish one-way replication of recipient and configuration information from the Active Directory directory service to the Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) instance on the Edge Transport server. The Microsoft Exchange EdgeSync service copies only the information that is required for the Edge Transport server to perform anti-spam and message security configuration tasks and the information about the Send connector configuration that is required to enable mail flow from the Hub Transport servers in the Exchange 2007 organization to the Internet through one or more Edge Transport servers. The Microsoft Exchange EdgeSync service performs scheduled updates so that the information in ADAM remains current.

The following anti-spam and antivirus features are new or improved in Exchange 2007:

Improvements in Antivirus Protection

Exchange 2007 includes many improvements to antivirus protection. In addition to continued support of the Virus Scanning API (VSAPI), Microsoft has made a significant investment in more effective, efficient, and programmable virus scanning at the transport level.

Exchange 2007 introduces the concept of transport agents. Agents are managed software components that perform a task in response to an application event.

Exchange 2007 also provides antivirus stamping, which helps reduce the volume of antivirus scanning across an organization by stamping messages that were scanned for viruses with the version of the antivirus software that performed the scan and the result of the scan. This antivirus stamp travels with the message as the message is routed through the organization. The stamp is used to determine whether additional antivirus scanning must be performed on the message.

In Exchange 2007, agents act on transport events, much like event sinks in earlier versions of Exchange. Third-party developers can write customized agents to take advantage of the underlying Exchange MIME parsing engine for robust transport-level antivirus scanning. The Exchange 2007 MIME parsing engine, developed and evolved through many years of MIME-handling exposure, is likely the most trusted and robust MIME engine in the industry.

Another Exchange 2007 antivirus improvement is the implementation of attachment filtering by a transport agent. By running attachment filtering on the Edge Transport server role in your organization, you can reduce the spread of malware attachments before they enter your organization. For more information about attachment filtering, see Attachment Filtering.

Using Exchange Hosted Services

Spam and virus filtering is enhanced by or is also available as a service from Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services. Exchange Hosted Services is a set of four distinct hosted services:

  • Hosted Filtering, which helps organizations protect themselves from e-mail-borne malware

  • Hosted Archive, which helps them satisfy retention requirements for compliance

  • Hosted Encryption, which helps them encrypt data to preserve confidentiality

  • Hosted Continuity, which helps them preserve access to e-mail during and after emergency situations

These services integrate with any on-premise Exchange servers that are managed in-house or Hosted Exchange e-mail services that are offered through service providers. For more information about Exchange Hosted Services, see Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services.

For More Information

For more information about how to plan for and manage anti-spam and antivirus features in Exchange 2007, see the following topics: