Why antispam in Workmail/SES is garbage?


Hi, Why antispam in Workmail/SES is garbage? I am receiving tons of spam emails to my mailbox sometimes 30-40 spam emails in a single day.

Enabling "Spam and virus scanning" in SES did not really improve anything and I don't know why it was disabled in the 1st place. To me it looks like AWS changes something and forgets to enable it. Without my antivirus/antispam software deleting the spam my mailbox would be clogged but you would expect Workmail to do it instead.

Is this service being properly maintained or should we look for an alternative? Please advise. Best regards

2 Answers

Hi, Thank you for answering. I am not familiar with SES and we have never subscribed to this service but I reckon it's part of the AWS mail infrastructure. We use Amazon Workmail and we had no problems with spam for years only until recently about 6 months ago when it started and then I had to research on solutions. Someone on AWS forum advised another Workmail user to enable antispam/antivirus in SES settings and this is what I did but this did not help with spa but I have not noticed much difference.

Our Workmail mail configuration is pretty basic, there are no custom configuration or any spacial rules in place.

Currently we have:

  1. SPF record in place - "v=spf1 include:amazonses.com -all"
  2. DKIM - showing green Successful in SES console
  3. MAIL FROM - showing green Successful in SES console

I think the next to reduce spam would be to Enforce DMARC. I don't know if enforcing TLS could have impact on spam.

Best regards

answered 3 years ago

Hello AWS-User-4707325,

I want to confirm some details from your post. Can you provide details on the flow of your email using SES and Workmail? Are you using SES for receiving emails and passing them on to Workmail (Sender > SES > Workmail), or are you using Workmail for send/receive of emails and SES for bulk email sending? I'd like to confirm your use case before replying in greater detail.

SES and Workmail are handled internally at AWS by different teams. My team works with SES so I can research this more on your behalf, but I'll need to engage the Workmail folks for specifics on that service.

In the interim, I want to provide spam-handling details from the SES perspective, taken from SES FAQs (1).

Q: How does Amazon SES ensure that incoming mail is free of spam and viruses?

Amazon SES uses a number of spam and virus protection measures. It uses block lists to prevent mail from known spammers from entering the system in the first place. It also performs virus scans on every incoming email that contains an attachment. Amazon SES makes its spam detection verdicts available to you, enabling you to decide if you trust each message. In addition to the spam and virus verdicts, Amazon SES provides the DKIM and SPF check results.

Q: What prevents Amazon SES users from sending spam?

Amazon SES uses in-house content filtering technologies to scan email content for spam and malware.

If we determine that an account is sending spam or malicious content, we will pause that account's ability to send additional email.

SES can process incoming email using receipt rules (recipient-based control) and IP address filters (IP-based control), the latter being useful for filtering SPAM. See this document, starting at page 107 (2). This is why I wanted a better understanding of your use case and email flow in case you are using SES for inbound email passed on to Workmail.

As mentioned, details around Workmail are something I'd need to research with that team, however I wanted to provide the FAQs for Workmail for your review (3).

Thanks for information!


  1. https://aws.amazon.com/ses/faqs/
  2. https://docs.aws.amazon.com/ses/latest/dg/ses-dg.pdf#Welcome
  3. https://aws.amazon.com/workmail/faqs/
answered 3 years ago

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