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Here are some questions and answers about IMF in an Exchange organization.
What is Intelligent Message Filter (IMF)?
IMF is a content filter designed specifically for Exchange. It's based on Microsoft SmartScreen technology. This technology is used by MSN, Hotmail, Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 and Exchange. It's an algorithm that identifies legitimate e-mail messages and spam, based on thresholds it takes an action pre-determined by the Administrator.
What are the versions of IMF?
We have two versions until now, here are the versions:
Version 1: includes Exchange Server 2003 and Service Pack 1 it is necessary to download separately and install them.
Version 2: introduced in Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 with new enhancements to fight against UCE (Unsolicited Commercial E-mail)
Where Can I Install IMF?
IMF is designated to combat UCE at gateway level, so you need to install it on a server that receives your inbound traffic of messages from internet.
I have SP1 with IMF Tool and I want to install Service Pack 2, what do I need to upgrade my IMF to version 2 found in SP2?
Nothing. When you install Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 the old version is removed and the new version is installed.
Can I update IMF regularly?
Yes, you can do it, follow this Microsoft KB:
How can I exclude some recipients from IMF?
It is possible with a hot fix, more information can be found here
What is SCL (Spam Confidence Level)?
The SmartScreen Technology associates a SCL number (possible values are 1 to 9) to each message that arrives in Exchange organization, based in this SCL we can take actions at gateway level (server) and Junk Mail level (client). In gateway level you can make decisions based in SCL, there are four possible decisions at the gateway level: Archive, Delete, No Action and Reject.
Is there a way to expose the SCL of the messages in the Archive Folder, OWA or Outlook?
Yes, it's possible. You need to create the following registry key:
- In Registry Editor (regedit), right-click ContentFilter, click New, and then click DWORD value.
- Type ArchiveSCL for the registry key value.
- Right-click ArchiveSCL, and then click Modify.
- In Edit DWORD, under Value Data, type 1.
Now, your messages are receiving have an X-SCL message header with SCL Level. Then, you can see SCL in Archived Folder, Outlook and OWA.
For exposing SCL in Outlook or OWA, see bellow:
Exposing SCL in Outlook:
Exposing SCL in OWA:
Can I use IMF in a Cluster?
No, it's not possible. You need to implement it in a Front-End server or separated server.
Is it possible to use IMF with a POP3 Connector?
No, it's not possible. Because IMF is applied in SMTP communications not in POP communications.
After installing, how can I see the performance of IMF?
You can use MSExchange Intelligent Message Filter objects in Performance Monitor to monitor server that have been IMF installed.