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  1. #1

    I need to give a Spam Filtering Speech

    I have been charged with speaking to a non-technical group about spam and spam filters. This is the general breakdown of spam filtering I plan to speak of. Has anyone got suggestions to improve this, and have I forgotten anything?

    Thanks in advance ...

    Blacklists collect individual emails, IP addresses or domains of known spammers and provide a way of filtering these emails out at the server level.
    Problem: not all listed emailers are spammers. Some lists are easy to make corrections to, others impossible. Some lists even add emailers to their list with little or no cause, and refuse to remove the entry until a "fee" is paid. Extortion.

    SpamAssassin is an automated mail filter that uses a wide range of heuristic algorithms on email headers and messages to identify spam keywords and combinations. SpamAssassin is designed to identify and mark emails that score beyond a score which is assigned by your webmaster. An email's SpamAssassin score is the sum of values given to certain known spam characteristics. Settings as low as 1 are available, however this will probably filter good emails as well. It is possible to whitelist certain emails and set a very low number, which would create an email account that accepted emails from preset email accounts only.
    Problem: Because this searches your email body, subject and header info for specific items, spammers constantly devise ways to fool it. You've probably received emails where the word "viagra" does not appear as text but as a graphic. This is why they do that.

    ISP Blocks to port 25 are a way to force email to be sent only through your ISP. Comcast, ATT and others use it to block email being sent from your web site using your domain name SMTP. Instead, you must use their SMTP.
    Problem: causes many headaches. Setting up alternate ports customers can use to send email using their domain SMTP circumvents the ISP's process. It also causes problems with SPF filtering.

    SPF Filtering is a method of verifying the IP address sending email matches the domain it is sent from. Useful in filtering out people who are impersonating you by using your email in their spam. They can pretend to be you, but the IP address does not match yours, so their email can be filtered via SPF.
    Problem: One of the solutions to ISP Blocks is to use the ISP SMTP to send email. Unfortunately, the ISP's IP address is not yours so the SPF filter does its job and deletes your legitimate email.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I have been charged with speaking to a non-technical group about spam and spam filters.
    Haha you got charged was their a private detective in the group. WOW when did this law come into place.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Thanks for the speech, *applause*

    I have been charged with speaking to a non-technical group about spam and spam filters.
    Charged as in.. charging people a few bucks to do this and that, or.. charged with a crime?
    All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

  4. #4
    I must be showing my age. Charged as in given responsibility for completing a task. I haven't been arrested (altho the speech has not been given yet LOL)
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    California, USA, Earth
    Mentioning Spam Assassin in great, but you may want to break it into 2 main types of filters - software (like Spam Assassin) and hardware (like MailFoundry and others). Some of the hardware filters can be more effective, but the main benefit in my opinion.. if not their effectiveness is that they transfer the load off your mail server.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Nice speech. I would perhaps try to keep terms and brand names out of the speech as much as possible, given the apparent newbie nature of the audience, but I like it.

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