MMS content-based Antispam protection

MMS content-based Antispam protection

Expand MMS Scanning and select Content Filter in an MMS protection profile to create content filter black/white lists that block or allow MMS messages based on the content of the message.



A school computer lab may block age-inappropriate content. A place of business may block unproductive content. A public access internet cafe may block offensive and graphic content. Each installation has its own requirements for what content needs to be blocked, and in what language.

FortiOS Carrier provides the ability to create custom local dictionaries, black lists, and white lists in multiple languages enables you to protect your customers from malicious content around the world.


Configurable dictionary

You can create a dictionary of configurable terms and phrases using the CLI. The text of MMS messages will be searched for these terms and phrases. Add content filter lists that contain content that you want to match in MMS messages. For every match found, a score is added. If enough matches are found to set the total score above the configured threshold, the MMS message is blocked.

You can add words, phrases, wild cards and Perl regular expressions to create content patterns that match content in MMS messages. For more on wildcard and regular expressions, see Using wildcards and Perl regular expressions in the UTM guide.


For each pattern you can select Block or Exempt.

  • Block adds an antispam black list pattern. A match with a block pattern blocks a message depending on the score of the pattern and the content filter threshold.
  • Exempt adds an antispam white list pattern. A match with an exempt pattern allows the message to proceed through the FortiOS Carrier unit, even if other content patterns in the same content filter list would block it.

If a pattern contains a single word, the FortiOS Carrier unit searches for the word in MMS messages. If the pattern contains a phrase, the FortiOS Carrier unit searches for all of the words in the phrase. If the pattern contains a phrase in quotation marks, the FortiOS Carrier unit searches for the whole phrase.

You can create patterns with Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Cyrillic, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Thai, or Western character sets.


Black listing

Black listing is the practice of banning entries on the list. For example if an IP address continuously sends viruses, it may be added to the black list. That means any computers that consult that list will not communicate with that IP address.

Sometimes computers or devices can be added to black lists for a temporary problem, such as a virus that is removed when notified. However, as a rule short of contacting the administrator in person to manually be removed form the black list, users have to wait and they generally will be removed after a period without problem.


White listing

White listing is the practice of adding all critical IP addresses to a list, such as company email and web servers. Then if those servers become infected and start sending spam or viruses, those servers are not blocked. This allows the critical traffic through, even if there might be some malicious traffic as well. Blocking all traffic from your company servers would halt company productivity.


Scores and thresholds

Each content pattern incudes a score. When a MMS message is matched with a pattern the score is recorded. If a message matches more than one pattern or matches the same pattern more than once, the score for the message increases. When the total score for a message equals or exceeds the threshold the message is blocked.

The default score for a content filter list entry is 10 and the default threshold is 10. This means that by default a message is blocked by a single match. You can change the scores and threshold so that messages can only be blocked if there are multiple matches. For example, you may only want to block messages that contain the phrase “example” if it appears twice. To do this, add the “example” pattern, set action to block and score to 5. Keep the threshold at 10. If “example” is found twice or more in a message the score adds up 10 (or more) and the message is blocked.


This entry was posted in FortiOS 5.4 Handbook on by .

About Mike

Michael Pruett, CISSP has a wide range of cyber-security and network engineering expertise. The plethora of vendors that resell hardware but have zero engineering knowledge resulting in the wrong hardware or configuration being deployed is a major pet peeve of Michael's. This site was started in an effort to spread information while providing the option of quality consulting services at a much lower price than Fortinet Professional Services. Owns PacketLlama.Com (Fortinet Hardware Sales) and Office Of The CISO, LLC (Cybersecurity consulting firm).

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