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  Spam in your mailbox
Annoucements Posted by Beat Rubischon on Monday November 17, @11:03AM
from the spam-spam-spam dept.
Topic number one is currently spam, also known as UCE, Unsolicited Commercial Email. Everytime somone of you meets one of our team, the first sentence is "I'm getting to much spam". Read on to get an answer to this question.

Since a long time, we use Spamassassin to filter out most of the junk mails directly on our mailserver. Spamassassin uses several tools to find out what is spam and what is normal mail.

Spamassassin ist quite effecitve - our statistic shows that near 70% of the incoming mails are not delivered to the users but kept back by the spamfilter.

One part of Spamassassin are Relay Black Lists like ORDB or SpamCop which contains known sources of spam. Now the spammer trys to break down this lists - even more, a worm called W32/Mimail.d@MM is affecting those services. Read also the discussion about this worm on Symlink.

Another part are the personal whitelists and the collected data of the baysian filters. They are used by Spamassassin to learn your typical mails and to identify spam. Experienced users may use the command sa-learn on our mailserver to teach the baysian filters - users who are connected with POP or IMAP will see that Spamassassin learns sometimes that spam is a good thing... You may destroy those files when you think, Spamassassin won't rate spam right:

  • on Linux and MacOS X open a terminal and type rm ~/.spamassassin/bayes_* ~/.spamassassin/auto-whitelist
  • on Windows connect to your home, change your explorer settings to show you all files including system and hidden files and change to the folder .spamassassin. Remove the files bayes_msgcount, bayes_seen, bayes_toks and auto-whitelist

We will continue to improve the our filters, but we cannot guarantee that every spam will be kept in our mailserver.

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  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
    ( Reply )

    Re: Spam in your mailbox
    by dummkopf on Monday November 17, @11:58AM

    just a quick note regarding variable setting for spamassassin. after a year of fiddling the combination which works best for me is:

    required_hits 2.6
    use_bayes 1
    auto_learn 1
    auto_learn_threshold_spam 6.0
    auto_learn_threshold_nonspam -1.0

    in addition, i modified some scores:

    score USER_IN_BLACKLIST 150
    score IN_REP_TO 0.0

    with these combinations about 1 spam per every 2 weeks gets trough and about 1 email per 2 weeks is flagged as spam -- generally stuff from bugtraq.

    Another recommendation: cancel other email addresses you might have. I have noticed that older email addresses (especially from the US) get a lot of spam. For example, my UCSC address would get about 30 spam messages per day (!).

    Mask your email address on your webpage: For example, in my case, I do not write my email address on the page, but I use HTML character replacements which robots cannot read:

    If you view the source of this page, you will see that you cannot see my email address in the html file.... : )

    cheers, h.
    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: Spam in your mailbox
    by Robert Jordens on Wednesday November 19, @12:54PM

    Hi admins!

    Is the assertion from, that all mail that has been filtered as spam gets read and checked by you, still true?



    [ Reply to this ]
    • Re: Spam in your mailbox
      by Beat Rubischon on Saturday November 22, @08:07PM
      This is still true - but the check is no longer such careful as it should be. Too much spam will be kept by the filter :-(
      [ Reply to this ]

    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
    ( Reply )

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