… with SpamAssassin. I’ve been plagued for a couple of years now. Some of my mail addresses have ended up on the mother of all spamlists, especially now since the spiders harvest email addresses as well as NSI records and other means of acquiring addresses from records I thought to be somewhat safe. My Hotmail inbox is so clogged with spam that I went EXCLUSIVE on the spamfilters and now no one other than those in my address book are allowed to mail me. Last Friday, I was sitting right where I am now, at my workstation in the NOC, and the resident on-call IT guy was in here with me. I was bitching about the fact that I was getting anywhere from 100-250 spams a day and it was starting to get to the point where I was just going to abandon my email address and get a new one from which everyone could talk to me at.

He pointed out that there were other means of dealing with the situation. I got pointed to a web site, where a set of perl scripts were ready for install that would look through each email and check the headers, subject, and body text for several hundred thousand items that could lead it to beleive that the message is spam. Based on a comprehensive script and sample tests, it grades the email on a point system. If the email has say… five points worth of spam-related properties, it will mark it as spam. Alternatively, you can have it just send the email to /dev/null or another mailbox. Right now, though, I have it set to mark-only, so I can adjust the preferences. The cool thing about this SpamAssassin is the fact that I’ve installed it system-wide on shinobu, but that each individual user can turn it on or off, set up access lists, and even adjust point scores for each successful test. After about 1,500 spams, the assassin is working much better than it did last week. I’m in love with this application, and now my inbox is looking like it did back in 1997. Clean.

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