Galaxynet :: Phaegis Anti-virus
Phaegis Status Page
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phae·gis (fay'·jis), n. 1. jargon, concatenation of 'phage'
and 'aegis', from 'virus' and the Greek via Latin
'shield' of Zeus. 2. The Phaegis email anti-virus system developed by
Galaxynet Internet Services for the protection of its clients and the
Internet in general from the destructive effects of email viruses.
Welcome to Phaegis
There are a number of important issues regarding the deployment of email virus scanning
by an ISP: many of them are not readily apparent.
This page is intended to provide additional information including email
availability issues, limitations, policies and procedures.
The most common method of computer virus
transmission today is via Internet email file attachments. Currently, and
into the foreseeable future, the growth
of viruses spread via email continues to burgeon. More and more viruses of
almost every type continue to be developed by malicious, irresponsible
Given the skyrocketing popularity of the Internet, especially by
"entry-level" computer users, we at Galaxynet consider it unconscionable to
stand by and do nothing in the defense of our clients regarding the threat
of email viruses. Many of them are inexperienced and even naive regarding
the "everyday hazards" of computer networking: in defense of them in
particular, our clients in toto, and the Internet in general, we have
decided to weigh-in on the side of The Good Guys.
Normally, the only defense against computer viruses is to
purchase a copy of a commercial virus scanning-and-cleaning
program from companies such as McAfee or Norton, and running
these programs diligently.
Well, Galaxynet has developed our own defense against email viruses
sent to or from Galaxynet customers via Galaxynet email accounts.
We've dubbed it Phaegis (fay'·jis), from the Greek "Phage Aegis"
(meaning "Virus Shield").
Phaegis scans all incoming and outgoing email file attachments
for over 60,000 known types of viruses, trojans and
variants before the email gets delivered to the recipient.
Phaegis' virus scanning database of virus signatures is updated
as quickly as the professionals at NAI Associates (McAfee) update
their own virus signature database(s). It is automatically updated
as soon as those updates are released, without the need for ANY
The Phaegis system consists of a suite of software tools implemented on
Galaxynet's various email servers.
Partly developed by Galaxynet, partly developed by the
leaders of the anti-virus industry and fully integrated by Galaxynet,
Phaegis uses the most robust, accurate and up-to-date virus scanning
software by NAI (owners of McAfee, the industry leader in anti-virus
scanning software) to scan for any viruses transiting Galaxynet's email
servers as file attachments. Coupled with Galaxynet's unique SCA (Scan,
Control, and Alert) system, we integrated them to form Phaegis.
As emails are delivered to Galaxynet's email servers, Phaegis uses
our SCA system to process the email thusly:
1. Phaegis accepts the email and examines it immediately.
2. The virus scanner is invoked, and reports the status (virus detected? Yes or No)
3. If the email is "clean", Phaegis then delivers the email normally.
4. If the email is "infected", Phaegis immediately does the following:
A. Phaegis generates an email to the sender and
B. Phaegis notifies Galaxynet administration
of the virus report.
C. Phaegis deletes the infected email ENTIRELY.
Galaxynet's Phaegis system helps protect your computer from viruses
infecting email attachments in four major ways:
- It stops infected emails sent to your Galaxynet email account(s),
identifies the detected virus and alerts you of the details.
- It alerts you if your computer attempts to transmit a virus to
others via your Galaxynet email account(s).
- Phaegis also protects non-Galaxynet Internet users by preventing
the spread of viruses via email from any infected Galaxynet customer's
- Phaegis alerts both the sender AND the recipient of any
infected email it intercepts, including the details of the type
of virus(es) it detected.
In short, if Phaegis detects a virus in the file attachment, it
does NOT deliver the infected email or attachment(s). Instead, Phaegis
sends out emails to both the sender and recipient, alerting them
that an infected email was intercepted and telling them the type
of virus detected.
In this manner, the sender is alerted that their system is infected
by a specific "email virus" and can take measures to correct the
problem. As a bonus, it also lets each person know why an email
never showed up at its destination.
If your computer has an email-type virus, simply sending an email
to yourself will invoke Phaegis' detection process. Galaxynet
encourages everyone to use our system for detection of email viruses.
Phaegis Issues & Limitations
There are some potentially sensitive issues involved with the
decision by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to develop and
deploy an automated email scanning process, no matter how benign.
The Fine-print lawyer-ese
1. In no manner shall Galaxynet be held liable for any virus(es)
that infect(s) your computer(s), up to and including viruses received
via email from Galaxynet. Phaegis is a free, community-oriented service
we employ 'gratis' as a member of the Internet community, and in the
best interests of our clients. The responsibility for the detection
and proper elimination of computer viruses rests solely with the
user/operator/owner of any computer using Galaxynet's system.
2. In no manner shall Galaxynet intentionally allow any automated system
developed is used for one purpose only: the prevention of emails infected by
viruses, trojans, and variants from being delivered to Galaxynet clients
specifically, and other Internet users in general from any Galaxynet
3. Phaegis does not scan, probe, or otherwise attempt to detect any
information from the text of the email nor the file attachments. It
singly and specifically scans for known virus signatures in the email
and attachments. It scans all emails for viruses with no regard for the title,
content, or file names encountered. Plainly put, Galaxynet's Phaegis system
only does the following:
- Look for "signatures" of viruses in email file attachments.
- Scan suspected files for viruses, worms, trojans and variants.
- Pass the email to the intended recipient if Phaegis "passes" the
- Stop the entire email "dead" if a virus is detected.
- Send email notices to the sender, intended recipient, and
Galaxynet administration of the email interception, virus identified,
and general information of resources to be consulted for solutions.
4. In no manner shall Galaxynet be held liable because Galaxynet's
Phaegis or other such scanning systems fail to deliver an email
and/or attachments detected as "infected". In other words, no
part of an infected email -- that means the
file attachment, and the email itself -- will be delivered to the recipient.
That email is destroyed by Phaegis. It cannot be recovered, saved,
stored, or redelivered.
5. Galaxynet is under no obligation whatsoever to allow the transmission
of any demonstrably harmful content, material or other such "entities"
across its network. In the same manner that no reasonable person would allow
a person infected with tuberculosis to walk around a cocktail party,
Galaxynet will not be party to knowingly or willfully transmitting
a known virus, etc., by anyone for any reason excepting solely for
system testing, detection and debugging purposes by professionals,
and then ONLY at the sole discretion of Galaxynet management.
Go see the virus professionals
Given over 60,000 known viruses, there is no way that any ISP can possibly
provide detailed technical assistance for any specific virus "infection".
Please, consult the good guys at McAfee or Symantec; we just can't do it...
McAfee provides one
of the finest anti-virus software in the industry, as does Norton Anti-Virus by
Symantec. They are the undisputed leaders in anti-virus development.
Other limitations of Phaegis
- Phaegis only protects your Galaxynet email account when accessing it
directly from Galaxynet's email servers. It does not protect your
email on Hotmail, Yahoo, My Netscape, Bigfoot, etc., no matter how you have
your computer configured.
- If your computer is infected with a virus that propogates itself via email,
you won't be able to use your email program on your computer to send
email via your Galaxynet account! You must either "clean" and "disinfect"
your computer of the virus, or use our Webmail system to send email.
Those are your only choices.
- If a person with whom you regularly correspond has the virus on their end, you
will NOT be able to receive email from that person at your Galaxynet
account, using Webmail or not, until that person has taken the steps
necessary to ensure the virus is no longer transmitting via email. Frankly,
we believe it is irresponsible to seriously consider not taking
appropriate action after being professionally notified of a computer virus,
which is the primary function of Phaegis.
- It is not practicable at all, nor can we entertain any appeal, to be
considered "exempt" from the Phaegis system. All email, including all of
Galaxynet's staff, is examined by Phaegis and rejected if the email is found
"infected". There are no provisions in place, nor do we expect them to be
implemented at any time in the future, to provide any exceptions or
exemptions to Phaegis' oversight.
Galaxynet has gotten off the "cowards' seat" so many ISPs are forced to sit
upon, and taken a stand against the spread of computer viruses.
We have developed Phaegis, an email scanning suite that looks for email
viruses in any and all email being transmitted to or from Galaxynet. It
transmits the sender of the infected email and the intended recipient of
same an email notification that the infected email was intercepted, and
includes the identity of the virus detected. The infected email is then
Galaxynet's Phaegis system now scans ALL incoming and outgoing emails for
viruses using the most advanced and current virus scanning software. It stops
ANY and ALL email that it determines is infected with a virus, without
regard to the location, "status", or identity of the sender or intended
recipient, nor the priority assigned to the email.
While we are dead certain some smart-aleck barracks lawyer could claim
that it is someone's God-given right to send and receive emails infected
with viruses if they so choose, or that it is none of our business if their
computer is infected. We disagree. No one has the right to
indiscriminately hazard the personal property of others.
No reasonable person wants to risk getting an email virus. Galaxynet
is willing and able to virtually prevent it from happening to begin with,
and we're going to do it for you for free!
We have fielded numerous tech support calls over the years regarding this
very problem, despite the fact that we do not generate these viruses nor are
we in the business of developing countermeasures. We, like many of you, rely
on professionally developed software running on individual computers to help
protect us against computer viruses.
What we have done with the development of Phaegis is to build a shield to
help protect ALL of us, most especially our customers. It helps protect both
the responsible and irresponsible equally: it scans all email whether you
have a personal virus checker or not. It relieves no one of the
responsibility to keep their computers virus-free, yet Phaegis tremendously
reduces the possibility of getting one via their Galaxynet email
Everyone is at least protected now, if not made truly invulnerable.
Nothing ever developed by humans is perfect: in this case, the imperfection
is a lack of choice in the matter regarding the use of Phaegis at
To those folks who currently use our services and believe that Phaegis is
an unacceptable and intolerable solution, we would like take this
opportunity to thank you for your past business. There are thousands of ISPs
in the United States who care about their customers less than we do, and we
are certain they would appreciate your business in the future.
If you've ever watched the science fiction classic "The Day The Earth
Stood Still", you will understand if we think of Phaegis as "Gort". Gort was
the robot whose one and only mission was to prevent violence. No one was
Phaegis' only function is to prevent the spread of computer viruses
via email. No one is exempt, not even the staff and owners of Galaxynet.
We sincerely hope you enjoy the additional level of security
our Phaegis system will provide you, exclusively here at Galaxynet.