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Attachment Scanning

VCU Technology Services and the VCU Collaboration Services maintain antivirus and spam filters that examine all incoming mail before allowing it to be delivered to VCU's email recipients.  This is a service to aid in protecting your computers from viruses and other potentially harmful code. As you are no doubt aware, email attachments can be used to transmit viral content from one computer to another.

There is always the risk that a brand new virus could slip past these defenses. To assist in protecting your computers, we will block all attachments with specific file extensions.  Blocked extensions include:

.BAT, .CMD, .COM, .EXE, .INF, .PIF, .RAR, .REG, .SCR, .VB, .VBS

When you receive a message that contained one of those types of attachments, you will see the text: "Your message from sender's email address contained an executable attachment, "FILENAME.extension".

In accordance with VCU email security practices, the Cisco email security appliance will quarantine the file attachment. The email will be held in quarantine for three days to defend against new viruses that may exploit a vulnerability before it is generally known. After that time, it will be released and re-scanned for viruses. If the attachment is found to be virus-free, it will be delivered to you. If it contains a virus, the attachment will be deleted.

Email next passes through additional filters as it is routed to Google GSuite recipients, where additional scanning is done.  If an attachment is identified by Google as containing possible malicious code, it will be rejected and returned to the sender.  Google scans for the following extensions:

.ADE, .ADP, .BAT, .CHM, .CMD, .COM, .CPL, .EXE, .HTA, .INS, .ISP, .JAR, .JS (NEW), .JSE, .LIB, .LNK, .MDE, .MSC, .MSI, .MSP, .MST, .NSH .PIF, .SCR, .SCT, .SHB, .SYS, .VB, .VBE, .VBS, .VXD, .WSC, .WSF, .WSH

This list may change as Cisco and Google modify their processes as new security risks evolve.

If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact your department's computer support staff or the VCU IT Support Center at 804-828-2227 or submit a service request.

This article was updated: 08/9/2017