Anti-Spam Effort Update

Sent 12/7/2006

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With recent reports in various media, including the New York Times, showing that 90 percent of all email is now SPAM I was wondering how our Anti-Spam efforts were holding up.  It has been a while since I sat down and checked our stats.

During a review that covered the last part of June and the first half of July 68.33% of the inbound email was prevented from being delivered for failing our anti-SPAM tests.  With a total of 218,728 pieces blocked while allowing 101,376  pieces of mail to be delivered (17,069 of that total were flagged as possible SPAM).

A review the following month saw the percentage of blocked inbound mail reach 78.97%.  228,136 pieces were blocked with 60,747 delivered (15,063 flagged as possible SPAM).

This morning I undertook to look back over the numbers for the past month.

The blocked total is now up to 86.74%!  That represents 347,817 pieces of mail that have either been blocked from delivery (259,232) or deleted automatically (88,585) by the server after the mail failed our weighted testing scheme.  53,165 pieces were delivered with 27,771 of those pieces identified with the “possible” SPAM flags of “SPAM-LOW” or “SPAM-MED”.

I have seventeen different email addresses that receive mail and as of midnight last night through 8:50pm this evening I have 60 pieces of email that are sitting in my own Deleted Mail folder.  Of that total 14 carry the tag “SPAM-LOW” and 28 are identified as “SPAM-MED”.  Leaving 18 that are not flagged as possible SPAM.

Sometime after the first of the year the company that writes our mail server software will be releasing a new version that incorporates some additional anti-SPAM technologies that we are very hopeful will further cut down on the SPAM that still makes it through our defenses.

http://forums.smartertools.com/forums/thread/22241.aspxSome of the published enhancements:

    • Anti-Spam Enhancements
      • Greylisting support reduces the amount of spam that enters your
        infrastructure by up to 98% by delaying email the first time it comes in
        with a specific delivery path. The option can be enabled or disabled by
        domain. Greylisting prevents the majority of spam from needing
        traditional spam filtering, freeing up resources on your mail server.
      • Integrated SpamAssassin allows your system to use this free,
        effective anti-spam technology as an additional scoring mechanism to rate
        spam. Support for external, load-balanced SpamAssassin servers allows you
        to distribute your anti-spam processing across several network managed
        SpamAssassin servers for high-load environments.
      • The introduction of spam checking and blocking for outgoing messages
        to reduce the potential of your server being blacklisted or to stop
        unwanted emails from leaving your server.
      • Ability to add spam weight to a message based on content in a header
        in the email, for use with external anti-spam systems

For those that use the webmail based portion of the server there are going to be some significant changes.

    • The webmail and system admin interfaces have been re-designed with
      the primary focus being on increased speed and usability. New features
      include the preview pane, lower-bandwidth component controls, and an
      intuitive today page.
    • Auto-Complete for the To, CC, and BCC addresses when composing in
      webmail.
    • Support for Notes and Shared Notes added to webmail
    • Better spell check support with over 20 languages supported, with
      support for per-user custom dictionaries.

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