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Email with Missing Attachments

RightStar TeamAugust 24, 2020

This is a very short blog to report on something that one of my clients found. It seems important enough and hard enough to detect that it is worth making available to the Atlassian community.

My client suddenly found that emails with attachments were being processed without the attachments. They were seeing an error message: “No data found for attachment …”. The incoming email body was processed as expected but the attachments were missing.

My client realized, after we looked at logs and tried some tests with the inbox, that they had enabled a virus scanner that would not “release” the attachments into the inbox until the scan had completed. In the meantime, Jira would process the email in the inbox without the attachment content being scanned. This would lead to the attachment error.

The Jira administrators didn’t realize that this was happening until about a week after the change to the email scanner was made and only because users started to complain about missing attachments. By that time, the email scanner change was disconnected in their minds from the Jira behavior and it took longer to diagnose and address the problem.

Their solution was to change the scanning approach so that it doesn’t release any part of the email until the full scan is completed. This may not work for your particular scanner software or inbox setup. Nevertheless, I think that this information is important for my Jira administrator friends to be aware of.

A partial Jira solution would be for these kinds of email processing errors to be alerted to the system administrator and noted in the Jira logs when they happen. There was no log message and no indication of the problem except in the issues that had the missing attachments. A longer-term solution might allow a setting that could re-process an email when an initial processing error is found. Instead of creating the flawed issue, a second attempt could be made in the next email pass. If the error recurs, then it would be flagged to the system administrator.

Let me know if this is helpful information for your. What kinds of email processing problems have you experienced? Do you have a scanner implemented that has caused this kind of problem?