The LISTSERV® / F-Secure® FAQ

Last updated 30 Oct 2011

 

LISTSERV 14 (1.8e) and following includes an Anti-Virus Scanning feature for messages passing through the server.  This is a value-added enhancement which requires a special LAK and  F-Secure Anti-Virus.  At this writing the feature is only available for Windows XP Pro SP3/Vista/7/2003/2008 and Linux servers running LISTSERV Classic or LISTSERV Classic HPO.  (Other OS platforms are supported through the LISTSERV AVS. There is no intent to make this functionality available in the Lite version of the product.)

 

The latest versions of FSAV that are compatible with LISTSERV 14.3 through 14.5 are obsolete and do not have a guaranteed uninterrupted virus signature update path. L-Soft STRONGLY RECOMMENDS that LISTSERV sites running LISTSERV 14.3 through 14.5 upgrade LISTSERV to the latest supported version, after which the latest supported version of F-Secure Anti-Virus can be applied.

 

We have removed all FAQ questions relevant to FSAV 5.x from this version of the FAQ.

 

L-Soft's regular support addresses are reserved for LISTSERV maintainers' use only. List owners should use alternate avenues (some listed below), and may not write directly to L-Soft for help.

 

LISTSERV Site Manager's Manual Chapter 5.11

F-Secure install documentation

F-Secure Web Site

 

Here we have tried to compile a list of the most frequently-asked questions that LISTSERV maintainers ask about F-Secure AntiVirus.

 

1.                  Which F-Secure Anti-Virus products are supported?

2.                  What are the recommended FSAV settings for use with LISTSERV?

3.                  How can I tell if LISTSERV is actually using FSAV to scan for viruses?

4.                  Why does the FSAV icon sometimes not show up in LISTSERV’s web interface?

5.                  I see there is a more recent version of F-Secure Anti-Virus available.  Can I install it?

6.                  We already have [insert name of AV product].  Can we use it instead of FSAV?

7.                  Do I need ANTI_VIRUS=1  in my site.cfg  or  go.user  for FSAV to be enabled?

8.                  If I want to disable LISTSERV from using FSAV, how do I do that?

9.                  Why do I get a notification from LISTSERV that the FSAV database hasn’t been updated  in xx days?

10.             Can I disable these database notifications?

11.             What are the requirements to have F-Secure run on my LISTSERV installation?

12.             Why should I upgrade to the latest current version?

13.             [Linux] F-Secure dbupdate utility no longer downloads virus signature updates.

14.             [Windows Workstation OS] FSAV 9 does not support real-time scanning of compressed files.

 

1. Which F-Secure Anti-Virus products are supported?

 

With your paid maintenance, you will receive the following:

 

 

 

DOCUMENTED RESTRICTION: With the release of FSAV version 9, F-Secure no longer supports real-time scanning of compressed archives in FSAV for Windows Workstations. This means that sites running LISTSERV on a Windows Workstation platform (e.g., Windows XP) will not be able to prevent compressed files containing malicious payloads from being distributed if using FSAV 9 for anti-virus scanning.  Please see below for a discussion of alternatives.

 

 

 

Other F-Secure Anti-Virus products, purchased separately directly from F-Secure, may work with LISTSERV as well, but are not certified by L-Soft, and there are no guarantees of interoperability.

 

2. What are the recommended FSAV settings for use with LISTSERV?

 

For Windows:

 

1.                  Real Time protection enabled (mandatory)

2.                  Action:  "Delete Automatically" (strongly recommended)

3.                  Scanning Options: "Files with these extensions"

4.                  Scan inside compressed files: "checked"

5.                  LISTSERV and/or LSMTP spool directories must be exempted from scanning.

6.                  *.mail,  *.mai or *.job  files must be exempted from scanning.  (Technically speaking, if you apply point 5, you should not have to explicitly exempt any LISTSERV or LSMTP file types.)

7.                  We do not recommend (nor do F-Secure recommend) that the "Scanning Options" box titled "All files" be checked.  This can lead to serious performance degradation and is strongly discouraged.

 

For F-Secure Linux Security 9.x and later, please refer to L-Soft's "Installing F-Secure Anti-Virus" guide for important post-installation configuration steps.

 

3. How can I tell if LISTSERV is actually using FSAV to scan for viruses?

 

Issue a "SHOW VERSION" command to LISTSERV.  The response should  include a line like the following:

 

Virus database version:      2011-03-16 10:01:35 (F-Secure Anti-Virus 9.20)

 

4.    Why does the FSAV icon sometimes not show up in LISTSERV’s web interface?

 

When LISTSERV starts it sends the command "fsav /version" (Windows) or "fsav --version" (Linux) to FSAV.  If there is a problem with the response, LISTSERV's AV scan feature will be disabled.

 

You must also have current paid maintenance for the AV scan feature to work. This means that for sites with perpetual (non-expiring) Product LAKs, an additional Maintenance LAK must be installed.  (For sites with non-perpetual Product LAKs, your maintenance expires at the same time as your Product LAK.)  To check your maintenance status, issue a  SHOW LICENSE  command to LISTSERV. There should be a line in the response that looks like this:

 

Maintenance until: 26 Nov 2012, serial number MNT-EXAMPLE-1

 

If the SHOW LICENSE output says

 

Maintenance until: No maintenance information

 

either your maintenance has expired or you have not received or applied your maintenance LAK.  If you need a new maintenance LAK, please contact your L-Soft sales representative.  (The support department cannot issue LAKs.)

 

If maintenance is current, try another stop/start of LISTSERV.

 

5.  I see there is a more recent version of F-Secure Anti-Virus available.  Can I install it?

 

Check with support@lsoft.com  before doing so to make sure that it has been tested for use with LISTSERV. Please note that you will need a different F-Secure Anti-Virus license key from your Sales Representative before installing the latest version.

 

As of the date of this FAQ:

 

FSAV 9.00 for Windows Servers is approved for use with LISTSERV 15.0 or later for Windows Servers.*  If you are running an earlier version and wish to upgrade, contact your sales representative for an FSAV for Windows Servers 9.00 key.

 

FSAV 9.20 for Windows Workstations is approved for use with LISTSERV 15.0 or later for Windows Workstations.*

 

DOCUMENTED RESTRICTION: With the release of FSAV version 9, F-Secure no longer supports real-time scanning of compressed archives in FSAV for Windows Workstations. This means that sites running LISTSERV on a Windows Workstation platform (e.g., Windows XP) will not be able to prevent compressed files containing malicious payloads from being distributed if using FSAV 9 for anti-virus scanning.  Please see below for a discussion of alternatives.

 

If you are running an earlier version and wish to upgrade, contact your sales representative for an FSAV 9.20 for Windows Workstations key.

 

Minimum patch versions:  FSAV 9.20 for Windows Workstations requires Windows XP with SP3, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.

 

F-Secure Linux Security (FSLS) 9.10 running as a command-line-only installation is approved for use with LISTSERV 15.0 or later for Linux.*  If you are running an earlier version and wish to upgrade, contact your sales representative for an FSLS 9.10 key.  (The "full server" version of FSLS 9.10 is not supported for use with LISTSERV.)

 

The latest versions of FSAV that are compatible with LISTSERV 14.3 through 14.5 are obsolete and do not have a guaranteed uninterrupted virus signature update path. L-Soft STRONGLY RECOMMENDS that LISTSERV sites running LISTSERV 14.3 through 14.5 upgrade LISTSERV to the latest supported version, after which the latest supported version of F-Secure Anti-Virus can be applied.

 

We have removed all FAQ questions relevant to FSAV 5.x from this version of the FAQ.

 

* We recommend upgrading LISTSERV to at least version 16.0-2011a because of an incompatibility introduced between LISTSERV and the 9.x versions of the F-Secure products.  The incompatibility may result in occasional spurious reports from LISTSERV of out-of-date anti-virus signatures. This incompatibility is fixed in LISTSERV version 16.0-2011a. To ensure that you have at least LISTSERV version 16.0-2011a, issue a SHOW LICENSE to your LISTSERV server.  The build date reported should be 8 Sep 2011 or later.

 

See below for more information on these updates.

 

6.  We already have [insert name of AV product].  Can we use it with LISTSERV instead of FSAV?

 

Yes, to a limited extent, under Windows only.  Please see the LISTSERV manuals for information on the FOREIGN_ANTI_VIRUS site configuration parameter and its use.

 

7.  Do I need ANTI_VIRUS=1  in my site.cfg  or  go.user  for FSAV to be enabled?

 

No, this is the default if you are running Classic with current maintenance. LISTSERV checks for FSAV running on the server when it starts.

 

8.   If I want to disable LISTSERV from using FSAV, how do I do that?

 

For Windows:  Add

 

ANTI_VIRUS=0

 

to your site.cfg file and restart LISTSERV.

 

For Linux: Add

 

ANTI_VIRUS=0

export ANTI_VIRUS

 

to your go.user file and restart LISTSERV. 

 

(Note for LISTSERV 15.0 and following:  If this variable has been previously set via the web administration interface, you will need to set it there rather than in go.user.)

 

9. Why do I get a notification from LISTSERV that the FSAV database hasn’t been updated  in xx days?

 

LISTSERV only checks the time stamp of the database files. It does not check  the last time it was checked by the F-Secure Auto-Update Agent. In rare cases, F-Secure may not have a virus signature update for 5 days or longer, so when the database file is determined to be five days old, LISTSERV begins notifying the  non-quiet postmaster(s) to alert them to a possible problem.

 

In this case you should do the following:

 

Windows:  Check F-Secure's Automatic Update Agent to make sure that it is running. If it is, and if "fsav /version" reports that the signatures are up to date, then the warning can be ignored.

 

Linux:  Check to make sure that the F-Secure Automatic Update Agent (fsaua) is running.  This can be done with `service fsaua status` under Red Hat-like distributions.  If it is, and if "fsav --version" reports that the signatures are up to date, then the warning can be ignored.

 

10.  Can I disable these virus database notifications?

 

Yes, with the LICENSE_WARNING= site configuration variable (please see the Site Manager's Manual, Appendix C, for details). Please be aware this also turns off most LISTSERV license warnings, including warnings that inform you that your maintenance is about to expire, or that your product LAK is about to expire.  It is L-Soft's strong recommendation that license warnings not be disabled under any circumstances, and then only with the understanding that you do so at your own risk.

 

11. What are the requirements to have F-Secure run on my LISTSERV installation?

 

Please note carefully that LISTSERV Lite does not support the virus scan feature. 

 

Requirements to be able to run the AV scan feature are as follows:

 

 

Also see:  F-Secure install documentation

 

12. Why should I upgrade to the latest current version?

 

It is always a good idea to upgrade to the latest current version of an AV scanning software because although the older version will continue to work, the newer version may have changes to combat emergent types of malignant code that can't easily be backported via hotfixes into the older version.

 

When L-Soft approves a particular version of FSAV, that means that version of FSAV has been thoroughly tested by L-Soft and is known to work properly with LISTSERV.

 

In order to ensure that you are able to benefit from the new description method and maintain the virus detection capability of your F-Secure Anti-Virus products at the highest level, you should verify that you are using the latest version of the software. You can check the version number of your Windows software by right-clicking the F-Secure icon on the system tray and selecting "About".

 

Windows:  If you are running LISTSERV 15.0 or later, and have F-Secure Anti-Virus 9.00 (or 9.20 for Windows XP SP3/Vista/7) in use, you do not need  to do anything. If you are using older versions, we strongly recommend that you update your anti-virus product.  LISTSERV 15.0 or higher sites running earlier versions may at their option upgrade to FSAV 9.x; simply contact your sales representative for an FSAV 9.x key.  NOTE:  FSAV versions 5.x and 8.x are no longer officially supported by F-Secure.  L-Soft therefore strongly recommends that any site running LISTSERV 15.0 or later should upgrade to the appropriate level of FSAV 9.x.

 

If you are running LISTSERV 14.3, 14.4, or 14.5, and have F-Secure Anti-Virus 5.52 (or 5.44 for Windows 2000 Workstation or Windows XP) in use, we strongly recommend that you update your LISTSERV product and then upgrade to the latest version of the antivirus product.  NOTE:  FSAV version 5.x and 8.x are no longer officially supported by F-Secure.  L-Soft therefore strongly recommends that any site running LISTSERV 14.x should upgrade to the latest version of LISTSERV (at this writing, 16.0-2011a) so that they may also upgrade to FSAV 9.x.

 

The latest versions of FSAV that are compatible with LISTSERV 14.3 through 14.5 are obsolete and do not have a guaranteed uninterrupted virus signature update path. L-Soft STRONGLY RECOMMENDS that LISTSERV sites running LISTSERV 14.3 through 14.5 upgrade LISTSERV to the latest supported version, after which the latest supported version of F-Secure Anti-Virus can be applied.

 

For Linux, simply issue an 'fsav --version' command from the shell prompt (assuming 'fsav' is in your path).  If you are running LISTSERV 15.0 or later and have F-Secure Linux Security 9.x in use, you do not need  to do anything. If you are using older versions, we strongly recommend that you update your anti-virus product.

 

If you are running LISTSERV 14.3, 14.4, or 14.5 and have F-Secure Anti-Virus 4.65 or F-Secure Linux Security 7.x in use, we strongly recommend that you update your LISTSERV product and then upgrade to the latest version of the antivirus product.  NOTE:  FSAV version 4.x and 7.x are no longer officially supported by F-Secure.  L-Soft therefore strongly recommends that any site running LISTSERV 14.x should upgrade to the latest version of LISTSERV (at this writing, 16.0-2011a) so that they may also upgrade to FSAV 9.x.

 

Installation kits for the latest L-Soft certified versions of FSAV for Windows Servers, FSAV for Windows Workstations, and F-Secure Linux Security may be downloaded from L-Soft's website at ftp://ftp.lsoft.com/f-secure .

 

Please contact your L-Soft sales representative to obtain an installation key for the appropriate version.

 

It is also important to check F-Secure's web site (best place to start is here) regularly for product hotfixes (L-Soft does not mirror the hotfixes).  Hotfixes are generally linked on the same web page as the anti-virus product to which they apply. 

 

When downloading F-Secure hotfixes for Windows, be sure to choose the ones for standalone environments (the "fsfix" version of the hotfix).  When fixes are available for FSLS for Linux, generally a complete installation kit is provided.  Please check the F-Secure website regularly for any subsequent hotfixes that may be provided.  

 

13. [Linux] F-Secure dbupdate utility no longer downloads virus signature updates.

 

In order to avoid this problem, sites running LISTSERV 15.0 and later with current maintenance may upgrade to F-Secure Linux Security 9.00.  Please contact your sales representative for an activation key for FSLS 9.00

 

The latest versions of FSAV that are compatible with LISTSERV 14.3 through 14.5 are obsolete and do not have a guaranteed uninterrupted virus signature update path. L-Soft STRONGLY RECOMMENDS that LISTSERV sites running LISTSERV 14.3 through 14.5 upgrade LISTSERV to the latest supported version, after which the latest supported version of F-Secure Anti-Virus can be applied.

 

Beginning in July 2008, F-Secure decided to no longer support virus signature updates for older versions of F-Secure Anti-Virus.  Since L-Soft uses an older version of FSAV under Linux (4.65 is the latest version certified for use with LISTSERV 14.3, 14.4, and 14.5), the ability to continue receiving updates requires a workaround, as follows:

 

1. Install 'wget' using your preferred maintenance program if you do not already have this utility.

 

2. Edit /opt/f-secure/fsav/bin/dbupdate

 

   - Search for the line: $updcmd >/dev/null 2>&1

   - Comment it out

   - Insert the line: wget -N -nd -r -l 1 http://linux.f-secure.lsoft.se/dbupdate/

 

After the change, the script will look like this:

 

    logmessage "Fetching update from F-Secure's web site to $updatedirectory"

#    $updcmd >/dev/null 2>&1

    wget -N -nd -r -l 1 http://linux.f-secure.lsoft.se/dbupdate/ >/dev/null 2>&1

    result=$?

 

You can now run 'dbupdate'. Depending on existing time stamps, you may get a validation error because wget and getdbhtp use different methods to decide whether to skip or download a file. In that case, just 'rm /var/opt/f-secure/fsav/update/*' and run the procedure again. It is a 30M download the first time, but it should only be a couple megabytes after that. The update URL refreshes automatically, it is not just a static dump of today's database.

 

NOTE:  L-Soft does not guarantee that this workaround will continue to be operable after 31 December 2011.  We strongly recommend upgrading LISTSERV and your F-Secure anti-virus product to the latest supported versions in order to continue this valuable protection, rather than continuing to operate an older version of LISTSERV with an outdated anti-virus product.

 

14. [Windows Workstation OS] FSAV 9 does not support real-time scanning of compressed files.

 

With the release of FSAV version 9, F-Secure no longer supports real-time scanning of compressed archives in FSAV for Windows Workstations.  This means that sites running LISTSERV on a Windows Workstation platform (e.g., Windows XP) will not be able to prevent compressed files containing malicious payloads from being distributed if using FSAV 9 for anti-virus scanning.

 

Sites running LISTSERV 15.0 or later under a Windows Workstation variant such as Windows XP or Windows 7 have the following options:

 

 

 

Comments on this FAQ should be sent to manuals@lsoft.com. Please do not send support or sales inquiries to this address--it is for comments on the manuals only. If you need to ask a question that is not covered by this FAQ, see the support options outlined at the top of the page.

 

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