Eradicating spam with SpamAssassin
Sun, 14 Apr 2002 22:49:12 -0700
I have gotten SpamAssassin  set up as a mail proxy so that all likely
spam are tagged as such and automatically filtered to a separate
mailbox, where I can check for false positives at my convenience. You
can see exactly how I did this below.
Am I nuts in thinking that nearly everyone on the Internet would like a
similar service, and many of them are willing to pay for it?
All that seems necessary is a regular x86 Linux box running
SpamAssassin, qmail, procmail, and Apache and a web interface to make
configuring all this trivial. As I have done below, you could set this
up with a well-known public email address and a private one only used by
One could even avoid the step of having public vs. private email
addresses by creating a filter on your mail user agent (e.g., Outlook)
to send all mail to this server that does not have a X-Spam-Status
header. The server would run SpamAssassin on the mail and forward the
mail back to the user. All of this could and should be configured with
a single forms web page that also has you enter your credit card. How
does $50 a year sound for the service, with a money back guarantee, of
Well, does anyone want to put this together? I'm happy to pay the
upfront costs for the business.
Here are the details of my SpamAssassin configuration:
The spam headers added look like this:
Subject: *****SPAM***** FW: dan , Your first targeted e-mailing is FREE
X-Spam-Status: Yes, hits=3D15.0 required=3D5.0
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 2.11 (devel $Id: SpamAssassin.pm,v
1.68 2002/03/04 01:22:24 hughescr Exp $)
X-Spam-Report: Detailed Report
SPAM: -------------------- Start SpamAssassin results
SPAM: This mail is probably spam. The original message has been
SPAM: so you can recognise or block similar unwanted mail in future.
SPAM: See http://spamassassin.org/tag/ for more details.
SPAM: Content analysis details: (15 hits, 5 required)
SPAM: Hit! (0.9 points) BODY: Asks you to click below
SPAM: Hit! (2.0 points) BODY: Talks about opting in
SPAM: Hit! (2.0 points) BODY: Talks about email marketing
SPAM: Hit! (0.8 points) BODY: Talks about bulk email
SPAM: Hit! (1.7 points) BODY: Includes a link to send a mail with a
SPAM: Hit! (2.7 points) BODY: A WHOLE LINE OF YELLING DETECTED
SPAM: Hit! (-0.2 points) BODY: Includes a URL link to send an email
SPAM: Hit! (3.5 points) BODY: Link to a URL containing "remove"
SPAM: Hit! (1.6 points) BODY: Tells you to click on a URL
SPAM: -------------------- End of SpamAssassin results
To set this up, I found a kind soul willing to install procmail and
SpamAssassin and give me a user account on his Unix box. I then set up
a .forward with:
"|IFS=3D' ' && exec /usr/bin/procmail -f- || exit 75 #dan"
I created .procmailrc with:
| /usr/bin/spamassassin -P
:0 # All messages
! firstname.lastname@example.org # A private address
I then made a .spamassassin/user_prefs with:
I then forwarded email@example.com to the account on the Unix box, which
then forwards to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Which brings me to my question
Dan Kohn <mailto:email@example.com>
Essays announced on <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>