Don’t call me DOM

29 July 2004

Fake SpamAssassin headers

Filed under:

Although my anti-spam set up works fairly well, I had been surprised in the past months (apparently starting end of May) to get some obvious spams (involving e.g. ‘Valium’ in the subject) going through it without problems. Only today have I realized that this was because the mails were not checked by my SpamAssassin, but (supposingly) by a SpamAssassin on popular free Web-based email services (e.g. yahoo or hotmail); that is, they included the following headers:

X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 2.60-spambr_20030926a on
X-Spam-Status: No, hits=-5.9 required=5.0 tests=AWL,NO_REAL_NAME autolearn=no

Due to the way my SpamAssassin set up works, they were not re-checked when entering my spam filters!

6 July 2004

Spam statistics

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I’ve run very crude statistics on the amount of spam I’m getting and filtering in the past 6 months:

  • I’m getting between 500 and 600 messages a day
  • among those, around 400 are spam
  • among them, the vast majority (~90%) is simply trashed, relying on SpamAssassin – I basically direct all messages with a SA score greater than 12 to /dev/null
  • on the remaining 10%, 90 to 95% are put in a distinct mailbox (cleverly labeled spam)
  • … which leaves me with about 3 spams in my inbox per day, which is quite manageable

PGP based white-list

Filed under:

I’ve published last week the set up I’m using to white list my incoming mails based on a PGP; although I had been using PGP until now mostly to separate clearly messages that one can trust come from me from forgeries (and let’s admit it, also to get the feeling of doing the right thing), I’m starting to see even more direct benefits from it.

For instance, my also recently published bot to automatically approve messages sent by me to W3C list archives shows that being able to tell that a message comes from my can also be useful … for myself!

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Picture of Dominique Hazael-MassieuxDominique Hazaël-Massieux ( is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Staff; his interests cover a number of Web technologies, as well as the usage of open source software in a distributed work environment.