Please scroll down for security update (June 04)
This is a service which is available for use by HEAnet member institutions. Any of these institutions may avail of this service to run electronic discussion lists of relevance to the Irish Higher Education and Research Community. This HEAnet-funded service enables academics to communicate via e-mail to collaborate on projects, to discuss ideas in relation to a specfic subject area, or to announce conferences and arrange meetings. In March 2002 HEAnet migrated Listserv to a new dedicated platform, providing more capacity and a faster and more performant service for users and list owners. This server is the first IPv6-enabled Listserv in the world, which means it is ready and able to serve users of the next generation Internet protocol.
The Listserv system is a dedicated Listserv server, with FTP services being migrated to the new mirror server (see above). The dedicated host gives much greater room for future expansion and for list archives, as well as relieving Listserv of any contention issues. HEAnet's Listserv server, which we believe to have been the first IPv6 Listserv machine in the world, is being used regularly by others to test their own IPv6 mail capabilities, something we are happy to be able to facilitate.
There are now 746 mailing lists hosted, with over 33,000 subscribers. Listserv receives about 7,000 postings, and distributes about 100,000 mails, on an average day. There are approximately 800 IPv6 mails per day, slightly below 1% of the total volume.
Application Procedure for Setting Up a New HEAnet Listserv Mailing List
In order to apply to set up a mailing list using HEAnet's listserv service, certain conditions must be met, including the following :
- The topic to be discussed by the list must be of relevance to the Irish Higher Educational and Research Community
- Two list owners must be appointed, at least one of which must belong to a HEAnet subscribing institution.
- The list owners should be familiar with LSOFT's LISTSERV List Owner's Manual and with the HEAnet's LISTSERV AUP
The applicant must first contact the support staff at his/her own HEAnet member institution to inform them of their wish to set up such a list. They should fill out the on-line application form at https://listserv.heanet.ie/registration/ which is automatically mailed to HEAnet NOC or alternatively submit a complete a text form to and mail it via their listserv contact person to HEAnet NOC. Maintenance of the list thereafter becomes the listowner's responsibility. The institution's helpdesk or support staff are the point of contact for listowners with difficulties; the listowner is the point of contact for members of their list.
SECURITY UPDATE (June 2004)
Following on from client feedback received earlier in the year, together with the results of testing and trials internally to HEAnet there will
be some upcoming changes to the HEAnet lists service to lessen the impact of spam and viruses and to provide an even better and more secure
service to our clients.
* Firstly, we are now implementing anti-virus scanning on all email sent to a HEAnet-hosted mailing list. This value-added service is implemented
using the Sophos anti-virus engine; http://www.sophos.com/. While obviously HEAnet cannot 100% guarantee that no virus will be distributed by
our lists service, we very much expect that this will provide extremely good extended protection to the lists service and remove any annoyance where a list may distribute a virus.
* As users of listserv are aware, listserv frequently requires a password either via mail (if mailing certain restricted commands) or via the web
interface. From Tuesday 6th of July, all communications via the web interface will be encrypted using https and the mail server will accept
encrypted SMTP via TLS. This will offer some protection against passwords being sniffed whilst in-transit.
Outgoing mails from our lists service will also be sent using encrypted SMTP if the recieving mail server supports it (as a number of connected institutions servers currently do).
These changes are intended to be transparent to end-users.
* To lessen the impact of spam, our mailing-list server is rejecting all mails from "blacklisted" IP addresses, as listed in the HEAnet
RBL+ service - with the exception of any addresses hosted on the HEAnet network (for which we have a procedure of notification).
These changes should be particularly effective against viruses however there is still room for progress on the anti-spam front. As has been requested by many listserv users, some "spam filtering" solution would be desirable. To that end, we would be grateful of any feedback on the
following possible solutions:
* Listserv + Spamassassin
Unfortunately Listserv does not offer spamassassin integration, however we do have the facility to reject mails at SMTP receive
time if they score particularly highly with spamassassin. This would need to be done for all lists however and it is not possible to tune per-list. We would expect the number of "false-positives" (non-spam mails filtered anyway) to be very small, of the order of less than 1/1000, but that it would be easily implementable
and be effective at reducing the ammount of spam to HEAnet-hosted lists.
Details of spamassassin can be found at: http://www.spamassassin.org/
Further Information: Please feel free to contact HEAnet email@example.com, Tel 01.6609040, if you have any questions about this or need site contact coordinates.