E-Mail Viruses – The Real Culprit

Microsoft bashers and loyalists of other operating systems espouse that the blame for e-mail viruses lies squarely on the doorstep in Bellevue, Washington. I submit to you that the e-mail delivery system of the Internet is broken and there are a lot of other vendors to blame.

First a little background on the e-mail delivery system. The software that has the dominant market position in the e-mail server market is not from Microsoft, Lotus/IBM, or Sun; it’s called Sendmail and it was originally written by Eric Allman and the open source version is now lives at The Sendmail Consortium. Eric started Sendmail, Inc. which produces a comercial version of the product. Sendmail from a technology perspective dates back to the pre ARPANET era of the Internet, and it is about as sysadmin friendly as other programs of that era. The following section is paraphrased from Paul Vixie’s Sendmail Theory and Practice.

Why is Sendmail still in use?

Inertia, partly. Sendmail comes free with every modern UNIX system, which makes it a fairly attractive way to solve the average computer

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