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SpamAssassin - What do you Think?
Anyone else using it?

 6:40 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else using SpamAssassin [spamassassin.org]?

I installed it a week ago and have to say that out of the hundreds of spam emails I get in a week I've only had 2 false positives with the default settings.

My inbox is spam free!

Anyone else using it?




 6:43 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nick_W sure am using it. Was setup on this box about 3 weeks ago. I marked all my messages of spam with the word **SPAM** before the subject to make sure the filters arnt too tight and i may lose mail. :P


 8:08 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yep, using it and loving it. For a long time I diverted everything to a webmail account for checking, but after not a single false positive I just dev null it all now.

However, I still run my own hand-rolled .procmailrc on stuff once it has passed through SA, that usually gets up to 50 a day as well. I suspect my host doesn't update SA as often as they should.


 8:44 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have been using Mailwasher for a couple of weeks now with great success. This enables me to bounce back spam but also to check emails before downloading. For instance, an acquaintance sent me a picture yesterday that was nearly 2 MB's! I was able to intercept it and delete it. It also checks against Spam Cop's blacklist of known spammers and, of course, you can set your own filters and whitelist\blacklist.
You can also set it to delete and\or bounce automatically. Best of all, it's free although a donation to the author is welcome - and thoroughly deserved.


 10:14 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have been using mailwasher, but I believe it resides on the client side. Isn't there any other software which can be installed on the server itself and its free too :)


 10:03 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've been using SpamAssassin since December, and have been very pleased with the results; so have 99% of my customers. The few recurring false-positives are easy enough to whitelist, and very few false negatives slip through... For the price (free) and the server load (minimal), you can't beat it. The latest version(s) is(are) much better than previous ones.


 10:33 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

In my search to be spam free, I moved to SpamAssassin a couple of weeks ago

I have progresed via MailWasher and CloudMark..

...Spam Assassin is the perfect solution. It gives me a decent mail box with virtually 100% spam free mail, and bins literally thousands. I have stopped checking the Held File as it was all spam

Ironically the only problem I have had is in trying to send myself form mail off a site. None was getting through, and I found it in the held file, needed a bit of tweaking to get it through. Classic example of what they call "friendly fire" these days


 10:57 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Have been using it for some time. Drastic drop in SPAM, yet still far too much of it. I may try lowering the spamlevel required to lable something as SPAM. Haven't done that yet as I fear it may result in false positives.


 11:42 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

My new host has SpamAssassin set up, but it took all spam messages and sent them on as an attachment.
Of course MailWasher saw the attachment and marked them for deletion. Fine, in the first 2 weeks it had one false positive and I didn't read the message anyway. The host has an option to bounce these spams back and I had them set it up.

For the first time in years I only get 4 or 5 a day that slip through and MailWasher nails them, so SPAM FREE!


 1:50 am on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> What do you Think?

eh... after (almost) missing two very important emails I stopped filtering.

With filtering there are going to be false positives. The problem is that it's rare, so you end up looking through the segregated spams less and less (otherwise why filter?).


 7:43 am on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I tried SpamAssassin a couple of years ago and wasn't that impressed, but earlier this year I installed 2.54 (now running 2.55) and it's been wonderful! Not a single false positive (that I've noticed) and only a few percent of spam getting through after a bit of Bayesian training. (Though that's got higher in recent weeks, I suspect the spammers are cottoning on.)

It's been so good that I now /dev/null anything that scores >7, and put items scoring >5 and <7 aside for manual checking.


 8:12 am on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I had a look at the Spam Assassin site and found it way too techie and confusing whereas the Mailwasher program is simplicity itself for a simple soul like me.
Horses for courses of course...
Correct me if I'm wrong but don't you still have to download the spam anyway to your Outlook\Eudora\Whatever program and it puts it in a separate Spam folder which you then still have to look at?
In other words, if I am sent a massive sized email that I don't want, I would still have to download it whereas with Mailwasher, I can simply delete at source - plus bounce back the crap to the spammers.
Does this not make Mailwasher the better option? Only asking...


 8:53 am on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

diggle - it all depends on your server configuration of course, but once SA tags something as spam you can do what you want with it. If you have webmail setup you could divert it there, preview it in your browser and zap the crap that way.
If you can't do that, simply send it to another account on your domain and use a remote POP checker to preview the mail on the server that way. Or, be brave/foolish and just /dev/null it.

Whatever, the answer is no, you don't have to download it, you just need to set up a way of dealing with it once SA has tagged it as spam.


 8:57 am on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Correct me if I'm wrong but don't you still have to download the spam anyway

No, I send my emails to them automatically, they are filtered there, then kosher stuff comes back to me automatically, and the held file is in cyberspace for me to examine if I want to.

Works like a charm. My life is my own again ;)


 9:13 pm on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

How I do it (and recommend my customers do it, once they've become convinced it works well) is to set message rules in Outlook (most popular mail reader, in my experience) or whatever to delete messages whose subjects contain "****S P A M****" right from the server during the POP3 session. It simplifies things greatly. Same thing works with IMAP, of course, and if you have shell access you can do fun stuff with .procmailrc . :)

The only problem tends to be with the people who only use webmail, but they seem to cope pretty well.


 4:45 am on Aug 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm using it and love it, but there is this one extremely annoying spammer who keeps falling below the radar.. I keep getting sent the same basic 2 lines of text, with my username in the from field. This wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have forwarders set up with that same username.. otherwise i could block messages from myusername@* or similar, and be done with it.


 4:58 am on Aug 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Great program. We have been running it on our servers for a little over 3 months now and it looks like it is removing 95% of the spam!

ecommerce man

 3:41 pm on Aug 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I use Spam Assain and offer as an addon to my hosting clients. So far so good, it seems to work fine!


 7:17 pm on Aug 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you tried an older copy try the new version. With the newer versions (2.50+) that have the Bayesian filters I've had much better results.

It also feels good to dump spams that slip through into a "spam" folder and let SA learn off the ones that got through. :)


 5:24 pm on Aug 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Started usings Spam Assassin recently. Found that I had to add a couple rules for a few lists I use but other than that it is great.

Since the spam email goes to one box and I can view it prior to deletion, I can easily figure out if a rule needs to be added or tweaked. :)


 5:38 am on Aug 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Same here, been using it for a good amount of time and like it.

Only false positives for emails from one vendor. They do use all CAPS in the subject line and do some other things which gets those emails filtered out.

cyril kearney

 3:15 pm on Aug 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

From the Newletter publishers point of view, all spam filters have similiar problems.

The publisher has no easy way to review his newsletter to ensure that it won't stop his newsletter.

Now if each town made its own traffic rules and kept them secret until you violated one of them, I think you would be upset when you go a ticket.

Why can't a newsletter use all caps as section heads? Isn't this arbitrary in a spam filter? Advertisements pay the cost of developing newsletters, why should spam filters be biased against them.

Spam has only one effective place to be controlled. It is at the money source. If a mailing piece contains pornography or fraud it must be illegal to make a credit card transaction. Enforcement should go after the money side. If illegal email was not profitable it would stop.


 3:24 pm on Aug 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

As for spamassassin at the ISP level, I was just reading a report somewhere that mentioned a false positive rate in the teens (and other filters scoring as high as 35%). Recently, I've had several emails from friends asking me about "not receiving email I know was sent." Their ISP had switched to spamassassin.

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