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SquirrelMail in use as the webmail service for University College London
Original author(s) Nathan and Luke Ehresman[1]
Developer(s) The SquirrelMail Project Team
Initial release December 14, 1999; 22 year(s) ago [2]
Stable release 1.4.20-RC2 / August 17, 2009; 405751136 ago
Preview release 1.5.1 / February 19, 2006; 515911136 ago
Written in PHP
Platform Cross-platform
Available in More than 50 languages[3]
Development status Active
Type Web-based email
License GNU General Public License v2
Website www.squirrelmail.org

SquirrelMail is a web-based email application started by Nathan and Luke Ehresman.[1] and written in the PHP scripting language. It can be installed on almost all web servers as long as PHP is present and the web server has access to an IMAP and SMTP server.

SquirrelMail outputs valid HTML 4.0 for its presentation, making it compatible with a majority of current web browsers. SquirrelMail uses a plugin architecture to accommodate additional features around the core application, and over 200 plugins are available on the SquirrelMail website[4]

Licensed under the GNU General Public License, SquirrelMail is free software. It is currently available in over 50 languages.[3]



SquirrelMail is available for any platform supporting PHP. Most commonly used platforms include Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and the server variants of Microsoft Windows.

Future development

New releases of the stable SquirrelMail product are made as needed to address any bugs or security issues which may be discovered. Development of new features and enhancements is concentrated on the development product, which, in time, will itself become the stable product. The SquirrelMail 1.5 Roadmap outlines some of the features slated for the next developmental release, including:

  • A templating system
  • A RPC interface for use by other applications as well as AJAX-enabled SquirrelMail template sets (skins)
  • A new initialization system
  • Faster login times due to improved message header caching
  • Security enhancements, such as HTTPOnly cookies
  • Improved usability/accessibility


The SquirrelMail client itself is a complete webmail system, but extra features are available in the form of plugins. A plugin allows non-standard features to be added to SquirrelMail, often without the need to modify the source code. There are over 200 third-party plugins available for download from the SquirrelMail website,[4] and SquirrelMail ships with several "standard" or "core" plugins, allowing an administrator to add:

  • Spell checking (squirrelspell)
  • Mail filters (filters)
  • Web-based administration of SquirrelMail (administrator)
  • A calendar (calendar)
  • An interface to submit bug reports semi-automatically (bug_report)

Examples of functionalities added by various third-party plugins include:

  • Address book/contact grouping and other address book expansions
  • Monitoring and security tools to track usage, fight attackers and improve security
  • Password change
  • Quota reporting
  • Rich text (HTML) email composition and display
  • User-configurable front-ends for autoreponders, spam filtering systems such as SpamAssassin and server-side mail filters


SquirrelMail has been translated into over 50 languages including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish.[3]

Notable applications

SquirrelMail has been implemented as the official email system of the Prime Minister's Office of The Republic of India for its security advantages over Microsoft Office Outlook/Exchange system. It is also used as a web-based email delivery system by spammers.[citation needed]


There are several mailing lists available.[5] Several of the developers are available for live chat on IRC. A bug tracking system is available for reporting bugs or submitting patches.[5] For administrators or companies official and third party commercial support is available.

Skipped 1.4.14 version

On 27 May 2008 the SquirrelMail Team announced that, while the latest released version of their software was 1.4.13, a spammer was sending unsolicited email messages to various recipients about a 1.4.14-rc1 release candidate version which didn't really exist. The messages (usually titled "Internet Users Email Upgrade (IUEU)") urged recipients to upgrade immediately (because of supposed security issues) and contained a web link for users to do so. However, that web link pointed to a page where the spammer was collecting email addresses and passwords. Beside the fact that end users are not responsible for upgrading such software, that the "upgrade" page was merely a mock SquirrelMail login page made it clear that this was a Phishing attack. The "upgrade" page has been hosted on various compromised systems across the Internet and the attack has continued at least through July 2009 (sample).

As a result, the SquirrelMail team skipped version 1.4.14 and its next release after 1.4.13 was 1.4.15.[6]

This versioning tactic was of limited effectiveness, as later phish runs referenced 1.4.15 instead of 1.4.14. [7]

See also


External links

es:SquirrelMail eu:SquirrelMail fr:SquirrelMail nl:SquirrelMail ja:SquirrelMail pt:SquirrelMail ru:SquirrelMail uk:SquirrelMail

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