[unisog] Blocking spam in general

Daniel MacKay Daniel.MacKay at Dal.Ca
Sat Apr 6 00:25:01 GMT 2002


My clever jr. and sr. systems programmers built a system, with the PerlMX
engine from Active State at its heart, that tests every piece of email
entering the university with dozens (hundreds? I haven't asked lately) of
different spam tests (about 100 pieces per minute during a business day),
and, if the tests indicate spam, adds a header like this:

X-Is-Spam-Why:http://linus.ucis.dal.ca/cgi-bin/explain.pl?NO_REAL_NAME,SUBJ_
HAS_SPACES,DATE_MISSING,GUARANTEE,SLIGHTLY_UNSAFE_JAVASCRIPT,CTYPE_JUST_HTML
,DIFFERENT_REPLY_TO,SUBJ_HAS_UNIQ_ID

so the users can then set their favourite mail user agent to transfer
anything with that header into a "Spam" folder (or if they trust us, trash
it.)

Notice that it's a URL; if the user wants to find out why we think it's
spam, he or she just pastes it into a browser.

This is obviously an opt-in system, and allows the user to decide what to
do with the suspicious items.  On the flip side, it will be a lot of
end-user handholding (we've only told UCIS staff about it so far.)

I'm told I'll be presenting a paper on this at Net 2002 in New Brunswick,
Canada:

        http://net2002.unb.ca/


--
Daniel.MacKay at Dal.Ca
Network Operations Centre Manager                   +1 902.494.3266
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada




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