How does Email Scanning Work?

Its a known fact that the emails we receive/ send are scanned before they reach us/intended recipient.
I thought of putting below a diagram describing how the entire stuff happens.

Email Scanning

Lets first discuss how the entire flow works in case of Incoming Mails.

  • All the incoming mails ( infected/clean) irrespective of there status are sent to the Antivirus software’s temporary folder where they are scanned for infections by the software.
  • In case, the Antivirus is not able to clean the mail, the item is moved to the quarantined items folder.
  • All clean/disinfected mails are then sent to the Exchange server from where they can be pulled by the Email Client.

In case of Outgoing mails, the following flow holds good.

  • All mails from the Email Client are pushed to the Exchange Server.
  • The mails are then moved to the Antivirus Software’s Temporary folder for scanning.
  • In case, the mail is found infected and is out of the scope of clean function, its moved to the Quarantined Items Folder.
  • All clean and disinfected mails are sent back to the Exchange server from where they are rolled out for the intended recipients.

Please note that this is a pseudo algorithm describing how Antivirus Softwares actually work. This might differ from software to software.

Also read: Top 3 FREE Antivirus Applications

Cheers,

Vaibhav

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