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Does email on vqSA depend upon a central server?

 
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:43 pm    Post subject: Does email on vqSA depend upon a central server? Reply with quote

Questions (from Andy Wurst at JJR Consulting)
What functions of my vqSA access a central server at Vanquish?
What happens if that server is offline or slow?
Why is this necessary?

Answer
The Vanquish security appliance sends and receives mail independent of our central server. It is also capable of signing and accepting trusted bonds from users with similar technology at vqME and other ISPs, enterprises, and email services.

There are two functions that depend on our central server, and they are non-critical. Soon, only the first one will access the central server:

1. Account Status. Why?
  • It tells you for how long you have a subscription to antispam and antivirus service.

  • When sending mail to a non-trusted address, a central server is queried to determine if it requires a liability bond (that is, will a cash guarantee get it waived past spam filters at the recipient.

    This is a unique and powerful benefit of our process. But we cannot indiscriminately add cash guarantees to all recipients, because then we could not include a sufficient cash allowance with all user accounts. Even so, if the central server is down or unresponsive, the mail is sent with a special digital signature instead.
2. Challenges: Our current design centralizes this function to reduce your overhead. But later, we will send challenges from your own vqSA. This is why:
  • We now use a 2 part challenge. The sender confirmation letter is very small - not like the graphic web page. And most senders are spammers, so they never see the web page. CPU & communications overhead is very low.

  • Sending all worldwide challenges from a central server leads to periodic listing by RBL services. If challenges are issued from your own IP address, that will be rare.
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