Dispatches From The Geeks

News and Announcements from the MCS Systems Group

Update on mail attachments

This is a followup to the announcement this weekend, also available here: https://mcssys.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/sending-and-receiving-attachments-may-not-work/

A quick update on how things are progressing with the problem of e-mail attachments being silently dropped. The Cyber and email teams in CIS met today to go over the problem. I just got off the phone with them and we discussed what’s happening.

* They’re putting through a change today that will stop blocking some of the problematic attachments that are low threat (such as shell scripts, for example).
* Notifications are indeed broken. If the system were working as expected, items would not have been blocked silently. If it were working as designed, one of two notifications would be triggered. For internal to internal messaging, the sender of the blocked attachment would have received a notice the attachment was blocked. For external to internal messaging, the recipient would have received the message minus the attachment, and received instructions on how to go about getting the attachment released. CIS don’t know why this is failing, but it is still an issue and they’re actively looking into it.
* We discussed alternatives to this that would accomplish the goal of protecting users and machines from malware while not hampering work. That’s an ongoing process, obviously, but there are already clear avenues we can pursue that are being investigated. Ideally, for anything that *does* get blocked, it would result in the recipient being able to retrieve the blocked item in a self-service method and in a timely fashion.

I’ll continue to keep everyone posted. Thanks to all who reported this issue. CIS is quite upset and apologetic about the inconvenience this caused — silently dropping mail is never a good thing.


Written by Craig Stacey

February 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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