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SpamAssassin mail proxy

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"McD" has written a SpamAssassin POP3 proxy in Perl in order to filter Windows mail through SpamAssassin.

August 30, 2002 1:09 AM

Wow! Very cool! Now we're cooking in the fight against spam! Unfortunately, it will also mean that the SA guys will have to work even harder to stay on top of the spammers' creativity in evading such filters. There's also a paid version of SpamAssassin for MS Outlook-users: (I guess they are using the same core engine as the regular SA...)

August 30, 2002 6:21 AM

I've been running spamassassin for six months now. Wouldn't want to live without it ever again. Though I'm curious about the Bayes statistical approach. I might write a perl thingie to pass all mail through via procmail using Bayesian logic.

Adam Kalsey
August 30, 2002 8:48 AM

The problem with the Deersoft and Cloudmark plugins is that they run inside of Outlook and only see mail in the format that Outlook displays it. This isn't a problem for most people because Outlook doesn't alter their mail. But if you use Outlook XP SP1, you can disable the display of HTML mail. If you do this, Outlook converts HTML mail to plain text with links displayed as URLs in the text. And it does this before plugin gets it's hands on it, so the plugin doesn't see exactly what it expects. When I tried the Deersoft and Cloudmark plugins, my success rate at detecting spam was around 10%. Using a proxy not only removes this flaw, but also makes filtering available to users of other mail clients.

Adam Kalsey
August 30, 2002 8:50 AM

The next version of SpamAssassin is going to be released very soon and will have Bayesian filtering. According to what I've read, though, statistical filtering is not as successful in the real world as it is in small tests. It still works well, just not witht he 99% accuracy some tests have shown.

Adam Kalsey
September 3, 2002 6:01 PM

SpamAssassin 2.4 is out, but I don't see anything in the docs that referernces statistical filtering. If you like the idea of a SpamAssassin POP proxy, you might be interested in a couple of other SA filtering options: IMAP filtering Eudora Plugin

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