Enable Message Sniffer

This article applies to recent versions of SmarterMail. View articles for SmarterMail 16.x and earlier.

The Message Sniffer service complements SmarterMail’s built-in antispam and antivirus features and accurately captures more than 99% of spam, viruses, and malware right out of the box. It learns about your environment automatically to optimize its performance and accuracy without your intervention; and it can be easily customized to meet your requirements. Because Message Sniffer runs all of its signatures locally, it doesn’t need to communicate with any services outside of the mail server, making it quicker and more efficient. Furthermore, the database is regularly and automatically updated to protect against new spam and malware attacks.

To begin using the antispam service, you'll need to:

  • Obtain proper licensing by purchasing the service or starting a trial, then
  • Enable the Message Sniffer spam check. 

Obtaining proper licensing for Message Sniffer

Message Sniffer is associated to a specific SmarterMail license key at the time of purchase and is offered as an annual subscription for licenses with active Maintenance and Support. To purchase the license add-on, get in touch with a sales representative or modify your license at the SmarterTools shopping cart. Note: After purchasing the Message Sniffer subscription, you must Reactivate SmarterMail in order to refresh your installation's license limits. 

(To test the Message Sniffer service before purchasing the add-on, feel free to Activate a Free Trial for the Message Sniffer Add-on.)

Enabling Message Sniffer 

Follow these steps to enable the Message Sniffer spam check:

  1. Log into SmarterMail as a System Administrator.
  2. Click the Settings icon.
  3. Click on Antispam.
  4. Click on the Spam Checks tab.
  5. Click on the row for Message Sniffer to open the spam check's configuration options.
  6. Toggle the slider to the right next to Enable Spool Filtering. Adjust any spam weights as desired.
  7. Click Save.
  8. MessageSniffer is now enabled for spool filtering.
Learn more about using SmarterMail for your email accounts and company-wide instant messenger.


We have used MessageSniffer for over a decade. It would be helpful to know whether our existing annually renewed license will work in place of a new license purchased through SmarterTools.
Proto (11/4/2015 at 5:37 PM)
Hey Eric! You can integrate Message Sniffer and SmarterMail with your current license in a couple of different ways - via command line, Declude, SpamAssassin in a Box, etc. These will give you similar results as if it had been integrated directly with SmarterMail, and two of these integration instructions are linked below.


This KB article, however, is referring to using Message Sniffer with SmarterMail as a licensed subscription add-on. This provides a direct integration and downloads the regularly updated rulebase onto your server. A deeper integration of Message Sniffer and SmarterMail will continue to develop as our partnership with ARM Research continues to evolve. For this integration, you'll need the Message Sniffer subscription offered as a SmarterMail add-on.

Andrea Rogers (11/5/2015 at 8:30 AM)
I have message sniffer, I am still seeing spam coming through, how do I submit these spam messages so they can be blocked
CST IT Admin (10/12/2017 at 1:32 PM)
Charles you will have to send info to Message Sniffer directly as per their process. Here's the page that details how to do that: https://www.armresearch.com/Support/SpamHelp/spamSubmissions.jsp
Derek Curtis (10/12/2017 at 1:38 PM)