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Sunday 19 December 2004

Perfect antispam! [lurks]

Over in blog 567 I was discussing spam and how I had decided to take a serious look at some anti spam solutions. Actually over the course of the last month, I would say that I am more or less an expert in what spam software exists on the market by sheer virtue of the fact that I have installed around 2 dozen applications. Most of them were written off for missing major features but a few I gave serious trials to and still moved on.
I would like to announce today that I have found my ideal application and I am, in fact, in a state of spam-free bliss. It's a good day all right given my Tannoy loving from blog 591 eh?
Before I get onto that, I need to qualify what I'm talking about. I don't use Outlook, I use The Bat. Therefore I need a generic pop3 solution. Secondly, I get a lot of spam. 60% of my mail is spam and that's running at 175 a day. Thirdly, I want Spamcop blacklisting and I want Bayesian learning because I've seen how powerful both are.
I also want a proxy based solution because I aint fucking around with an application before I decided to get my mail. I also really don't mind having lots of things to twiddle with under the hood because industrial levels of spam needs an industrial solution. Spam Sleuth is that solution.
This is pretty much a monster anti-spam toolkit. It has a heck of a lot of built-in modules, only some of which are actually enabled out of the box. In fact out of the box it's pretty shit. One look under the hood though, and I wasn't detered. It will handle multiple accounts and work in proxy or poll mode. In fact it'll also poll even when in proxy mode. One of the modules is a relay which will send your mail on to somewhere when it passes a certain number threshhold. The threshold stuff is like Spam Assassin only in Spam Sleuth there's all these modules which can modify the final score on an e-mail.
Anyhow, that forwarding shit is brilliant because I've got it to forward passed mail to my web mail. So my Squirrelmail is being despammed right on my own mail server, only valid shit is sent up to Slim's Dodgy Hosting TM. So anyway, I've had to fiddle with it right. I've adjusted some weightings. I've plugged in my mailing lists (so they're whitelisted). I've added some bad phrases. I've got it adding spam weight to mails to my older legacy addresses which I don't use.
Now tonight I've classified enough shit that I got to train and use the Beyesian filter too. Suddenly it's working with seemingly 100% efficiency. Ace! This from a little tray thing which I've got running on Wench. So it's despamming away on that box 24/7 for me and squirrelmail and it's already performing better than anything I've used with the exception of SpamAssassin + another RBL looking. It might even be performing that good, I haven't enough data yet.
I've got a niggle in that the RBL lookup stuff doesn't appear to work but I fired a mail to support and they got back to me quickly, saying they're looking into it. Very nice. Very high quality app, good support, right price. If your values are in line with mine, you really can't go wrong with this thing. Highly recommended.
If you don't want to fiddle to get it set up and to get it all running pukka, then it aint for you. You shouldn't play with scissors either.


  1. For a small FREEWARE anti-spam alternative, I have found K9 to be quite useful. Plenty of features, in a no bloatware package. Seems to do the job.

  2. Just heard about this on the latest .NET Rocks podcast. Comes recommended, but I probably won't bother testing it as I don't suffer from high spam volumes, yet (crosses fingers).

  3. Shit, that Spambayes Spiny linked is fucking perfect. Runs a service on your server and you simply set up a number of proxy forwards for any pop servers you access. I have my local server for personal mail and an external server for work mail. Then you can go into a web page and mark received messages as spam/ham. It stores them there so there's no fucking about putting spam in folders etc.
    Utterly brilliant. Now we just have to see how it works. If you're giving it a go, by the way, you might want to check the advanced config as by default it disallows any access to web or pop proxy except for localhost.

  4. Also it's worth pointing out that this blog Spiny has resurrected has me advocating some anti spam thing I fairly shortly after decided was fucking shit and binned. So ignore that bit :-)