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1867Re: mailsword and spam filtering

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  • Charlie Hansen
    Aug 16, 2003
      Hello Doug,

      On 16 Aug 2003 you wrote to Mary and copied to the list:

      > Mary, I just installed the free Mailsword program last week. How did
      > you know I had it? I'm not sure about it.

      Mailsword adds two headers to your e-mail which you can not ordinarily
      see with OE 6.0 that you are using. Some of your headers were:

      X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1158

      X-MailSword_Header: 140|0|0|0
      X-MailSword_SecureID: 5176733AE6B425DB96E25D5A46DADF75C1A1

      > It certainly blocks junk mail. I haven't had one since I installed,
      > vs. about 10-12 per day before. But I only get about 2/day from daemon
      > mailer saying there is no such address. I'm concerned about missing
      > mail from new people trying to contact me. All I did to start was enter
      > all my address book as allowable, and that works as far as I know. But
      > the messages the program is supposed to send back to non approved
      > correspondents hasn't produced anything except the few from daemon
      > mailer.

      The messages from your daemon mailer indicate that those messages had
      faked return addresses, a common tactic of spammers. When Mailsword sends
      an auto generated request that the originator send a second e-mail
      confirming that they are not a robot spam mailer, that request may get
      blocked by their anti spam software or may be just ignored. It also
      generates two extra e-mail messages over the internet to add to the
      bandwidth congestion on the net. Mailsword seems better than some other
      programs that required a second confirmation message in that it remembers
      previous confirmed users, and thereby builds its own "white list"

      In general, there are two places to detect spam e-mails,
      1) on your ISP's computer before you download the message to your
      computer, (server side) and
      2) on your computer after downloading (using a proxy address or helper
      program) before you preview or read it. If you are using a dial-up
      connection, with the first way you don't have to wait for unwanted
      messages to download. If you have a high speed connection, you may get
      better accuracy with the second method, as most of the server side spam
      detectors do not test the entire e-mail, only the first 10 lines or so
      after the headers.

      Mailwasher is a good program of the first kind if properly set up. For a
      review of this and other popular programs see:


      I use a program of the second kind called POPFile. It is a free program
      that is very effectively classifies incoming e-mail into "buckets" which
      you can name. Mine are called "spam" and "OK", and you can also have more
      buckets to sort your mail as well as "magnets" which pass mail from known
      senders directly to your e-mail reader without spam classifcation. You
      have to add an extra filter(s) to your e-mail filters or rules to detect
      the addition to (of) one or more headers. POPFile's accuracy for me,
      after the initial training period, is over 99.8% and it has not had any
      false positives after the first few weeks of training. Currently, over
      40% of my e-mail is spam. One advantage of POPFile is that you do not
      have to manually maintain a blacklist or word list. Read more at:


      Another program similar to POPFile, but for Windows only and with a
      simpler installation and user interface, is K9. Take a look at:


      The current Netscape Version 7.1 browser now has built in spam filtering
      for the Netscape mail client, similar in function to POPFile, as well as
      programmable filtering for pop ups on the browser. The Mozilla 1.4
      browser and e-mail, upon which Netscape is based, also has these advanced
      features. For more information, have a look at:



      The e-mail program that I use, Pegasus, has built in programable server
      side spam filtering in the latest 4.12a version, as well as its extensive
      filtering capabilities. It can even be used together with POPFile or
      similar classifier programs to achieve almost perfect spam rejection. I
      have not yet upgraded to V4.12a to use the content control as POPFile
      works so well. It is also possible to continue using your present browser
      but to have the mailto: and such clickable links to bring up Pegasus.
      One feature that I especially like is to be able to highlight a multiline
      URL in an e-mail and then just use the right click feature to open it in
      your browser without having to copy and paste. For more information see:


      Good luck in blocking spam.

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