Zimbra Tips : Archiving, How to Make an Archive for Every Incoming and Outgoing Mail

One of the important features that are needed on a mail server is archiving, the backup copy of all incoming and outgoing mail.
Although we can do the backup process periodically for every account, archiving more better and efficient because we have all of copy email which 100% similar with the original.
However, beside the function and usefulness, archiving potentially misused by the Administrator. The ability of a mail server administrators to make an archive message must be supported by a legal law the integrity of mail Administrator. This is super power, if you do not make any limitation, the archive message will be broken personal privacy and can be used for illegal purpose.
So, Why I write the tutorial although it can be very vulnerable ? The main reason is for limiting the illegal used. Everyone can find another copy of similar tutorial and I think it would be nice if I show the tutorial and how to prevent the problem. This means, my tutorial can be used to anticipate the abuse. You can check whether your mail Administrator set the Archiving feature or not, and if the option currently enable, we can asked the reasons behind the decision.
There is 2 optional Archiving method, the easiest one is setup Forwarder settings on each email account. Each receiving email will be forwarded to the email account that is set in the Forwarder setting. For example, the account muhammadrivai@vavai.com will always be on forward to the email zezevavai@vavai.com.
Although it’s an easiest method, these are some weakness of this approach :

  • This method will only do the archive on the receiving mail. Outgoing mail will not be archiving
  • Every user can be remove the setting fro their preferences menu on webmail setting
  • It’s not a clever method 😀 because we must set the preferences for each account. If we have 500 accounts, we have to be 500 times to make the process of setting

Another way is a better method, by using features provided by Postfix, namely always_bcc.
Zimbra built on Postfix, popular open source mail server. Always_bcc is a blind_carbon_copy copy feature, which will make a copy of each incoming and outgoing mail. always_bcc also smart enough to make a copy, for example, it will be make a copy of the email although every mail have more than 1 recipients.
How to do the  settings ?

- Open the file /opt/zimbra/postfix/conf/main.cf
- Add the line always_bcc = accountname@domainname.com (adjust the setting with your preference)
- Restart Zimbra (su - zimbra, zmcontrol stop, zmcontrol start)

If you wish to choose the second option, please consider some notes as described below :

  1. Use the mail account with biggest capacity to accommodate the archival message
  2. Set the filter on specified account to delete non-audit message. Do not make any copy for every mail. Make a copy for important message only of to an audit account only
  3. Do not use the internet email (such as Yahoo or Gmail) as always_bcc email account because it will disrupt mail traffic and you could be banned from their service
  4. Use this feature, with a sense of responsibility. You have no rights to open an email without proper authority
  5. For the users, do not abuse the company’s email for your private purpose.

Note : Please read the article “What are the legal requirements for email archiving?” if you wish to applied the archiving mail method.
Section 802 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires auditors to retain auditing information for a period of 7 years. The information refers to all records relevant to the audit or review; this includes workpapers, memoranda, correspondence, communications, and electronic records (including email). In fact, Section 802 makes it a crime, punishable by up to 10 years in jail, if auditors of public companies fail to maintain such correspondence.

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