Spam, now assassinated Friday 10th August 2007

I hadn’t quite realised how much spam was irritating me until I got rid of it all. Previously I had a fixed procmail filter for info@, sales@ addresses for my domain and then let thunderbird perform its adaptive junk mail filtering on anything left. Unfortunately, my primary email address must have been exposed a few months ago as I started receiving a lot more spam.

I thought that I was relatively happy with thunderbird perform the spam filtering task. It correctly detected 95% of spam, and didn’t generate any false positives. However, it is slow. I run thunderbird from a number of different locations, some over slow connections. When an email arrives thunderbird flags up a new mail icon, then downloads it and decides whether it’s spam. Too late! I’ve already seen the new mail icon; I have been disturbed my spam.

I installed spam assassin on my mail handling box, satisfying as many of the optional perl modules as I reasonably could.

I pointed sa-learn at my collection of 3,213 spam messages and at my last year’s worth of legitimate email for comparison.

procmail now puts all of the messages detected as spam by spam-assassin in my “assassinated-spam” folder. I’ve switched off thunderbirds junk detection and told it not to check the spam folder for new messages. So far spam-assassin has got every single message correct and I am no longer disturbed my spam. I still go into the “assassinated-spam” folder once in a while to check for false positives and admire how much annoyance I have been spared.

spam-assassin rules, go spam-assassin.

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