December 10, 2002

Stopping the SPAM Machine

I finally got round to installing Procmail and SpamAssassin on my mail server this evening to try to stop the ever increasing flow of junk entering my mailbox. These are the Open Source tools that my hosting provider recommends and supports, so provide a good first line of defence since they are already tested and preset for my environment.

I currently use the SpamNet plugin on my works e-mail account, and it does seem to do the trick. I now need to apply that same type of filtering and protection to my home and newsgroup accounts, hence the SpamAssassin installation. If junk still gets through the SpamAssassin filter(s), I can always add SpamNet as well thru integration of Vipul's Razor and if things get really bad the ultimate step is probably checking against the MAPS Realtime Blackhole List.

I think it's a sad day for the Internet and open communication in general when we all have to start doing this kind of stuff to deal with the rising tide of SPAM, but I am confident Anti-SPAM technology can keep our heads above water.

I also wonder how long it will take for the first scandal to break where some legitimate user(s) have been blocked by well intentioned SPAM busters? Not that that will stop anything, of course.

I seriously hope we never get to the point of needing to apply a whitelist policy, the pain of which Jon Udell recently experienced.

That truly would be the beginnning of the end for the Internet as an open communications medium in my view, and as Jon points out:

If we rule out spontaneous association [by whitelisting] then we will not have defeated the spammers. They will have defeated us. [Jon Udell]
Entry categories: General
Posted by Jorgen Thelin at December 10, 2002 11:00 PM - [PermaLink]